The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.
Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, employers and people seeking information about jobs and training from across government agencies. It is an online portal that connects people to the support and advice they need across all government agencies that offer products and services relevant to the employment pipeline.
"To support the COVID-19 recovery, we've stood up an all of government group focused on employment, education and training (EET). This is one example of the initiatives that the new group taking a co-ordinated and strategic approach to job support will be rolling out as we rebuild," said Chris Hipkins who chairs the government's Employment, Education and Training Committee.
"People have different needs as they manage the impact of COVID-19 and there are a range of different supports that need to be brought together in one place. Connected is a one-stop shop for everyone from school leavers to employers.
"The Government has put a major focus on investing in our people as part of our five-point plan for the economy as we deal with the 1-in-100-year shock," Chris Hipkins said.
The online portal Connected is supported by a Connected phone line, 0800 264 737, and physical Connected locations initially operating in 35 of MSD's employment-focused sites around the country and the three Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Jobs and Skills Hubs.
Carmel Sepuloni said despite the impact of COVID-19, there are jobs available. There were 7,540 main benefit cancellations in July 2020 because of people moving into work, compared with 5,253 in July 2019.
"In response to the economic impact of COVID-19, the Government has created a substantial range of initiatives, alongside existing services, to help businesses stay open and to keep workers in jobs, and where this isn't possible to provide other support and training options to help people find new jobs.
"Connected is about making it easier for people looking for work or employers looking for workers to navigate the range of employment, education and training supports available. Its important people and businesses know where and how to access the support they need in the regions where they live and work.
"By investing in our people now, we're future-proofing the economy and putting New Zealand in the best position to take advantage of opportunities as we recover from the global recession caused by COVID-19," Carmel Sepuloni said.