A financial scheme set up to attract people to seasonal work is enticing 16 people to the Bay of Plenty region.
The New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme, which offered up to $200 a week for accommodation costs and a $1000 incentive payment for workers who completed jobs of six weeks or longer, was announced by Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni in late November.
The scheme is available to anyone who moves off a benefit and is aimed at addressing the labour shortage in the horticulture and wine-growing industries.
It offers people the security of guaranteed income the equivalent of minimum wage up to 40 hours a week, regardless of whether bad weather forced them off the job.
Nationally, a total of 54 people have taken up the scheme, while 16 people have shown an interest of moving to the Bay of Plenty.
Ministry of Social Development group general manager, employment Jayne Russell says the scheme is aimed at supporting New Zealand jobseekers relocate between regions, or travel within a region, to take up temporary seasonal work opportunities.
She says it’s intended to address some of the barriers New Zealanders face when considering a temporary seasonal job in the horticulture and viticulture industry, particularly relocation costs.
“Although the industry is the primary leader on finding workers and developing a future sustainable workforce, we want businesses and jobseekers to know we’re here to help as we respond together to the current employment landscape.
“In the Bay of Plenty, we are committed to doing everything we can to connect local job seekers with employers.
“We encourage people to take up these seasonal opportunities as it can be a stepping-stone to other types of work and can lead to full-time work.”
Jayne says support also includes industry-specific training, short-term pre-employment or in-work training, and mentoring.
She says it’s still too early to consider how the seasonal work scheme is progressing in the Bay of Plenty.
Peak seasonal demand in the region starts in April.
“So far, we have had 16 clients express interest in relocating to the Bay of Plenty to take on seasonal work. “
The New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme is limited to work in the horticulture and viticulture sectors.
In the Bay of Plenty, kiwifruit is the primary crop and the majority of seasonal work would be involved in that sector.
Applicants must need to move to take up a seasonal role of six weeks or longer, for example to a different region, in order to receive accommodation costs and the incentive payment. For the accommodation costs they must have continuing accommodation costs at home.
More info about the scheme can be found at: