Unemployed Cantabrians To Work In The Red Zone   9 Mar 2012

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett have announced a “Working InZone” programme to get unemployed Cantabrians working in the region’s residential red zone.

“Funding of more than $770,000 will support up to 100 Christchurch and North Canterbury beneficiaries to clean up, maintain and secure the properties purchased by the Government in the residential red zone,” Ms Bennett said.

The people of Canterbury can expect to see workers clearing up overgrown gardens and rubbish and having a general tidy up.

Mr Brownlee said some workers will also be trained and employed as security guards to make the areas safe and secure.

“Given the recent cases of arson in the area, this is a welcome service for those living nearby – all residents need to feel safe.”

Working InZone is a joint industry partnership between Work and Income, CERA, CityCare Christchurch and Waimakariri District Council.

The Working InZone funding will be used to supplement wages for the up to 100 previously unemployed local people, as well as funding mentors, equipment and on-the-job training.

“The programme gets people off the benefit, gives them skills and experience and a wage for six months,” says Ms Bennett.

To help future employment prospects they’ll be given First Aid and site safety training, literacy and numeracy upskilling, vehicle licence upgrades and will be able to link their new qualifications to the NZQA framework.

“The Government has a strong focus on creating opportunities that allow Canterbury employers to employ local people,” Mr Brownlee said.

“Work and Income beneficiaries will be on the ground working from next week,” Ms Bennett said.

(New Zealand Government)

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