700 new jobs on Auckland infrastructure and related environmental projects will be created over the next year, thanks to a $4.3 million dollar partnership launched this morning by Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, alongside Minister Jenny Salesa, Papakura-based MP Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki and Manurewa-Papakura Ward Councillors Daniel Newman and Angela Dalton.
The agreement between Auckland Council and the Ministry of Social Development, which was formally signed by Auckland Council acting CEO Patricia Reade and MSD Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery Viv Rickard on 19 June, will expand the existing Ngā Puna Pūkenga (Skills for Industry) programme: a partnership supporting people into sustainable, full-time employment.
Minister of Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni says the funding will give people opportunities to earn, learn and contribute to their communities and to the country.
“Good jobs are fundamental to the success of our communities, providing people with the means to look after themselves and their families, instilling self-worth and enabling individuals to fully participate in civic life.
“The expanded Ngā Puna Pūkenga programme will provide 700 contracted places within Auckland’s construction industry over the next financial year, supported by $4.3 million in new funding from the government and facilitated by Auckland Council,” she said.
Phil Goff says the expansion of Ngā Puna Pūkenga demonstrated the programme’s success and would support Aucklanders and the regional economy to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
“Ngā Puna Pūkenga will give hundreds of Aucklanders the opportunity to help deliver new and existing infrastructure projects, with a strong focus on Auckland ‘shovel-ready’ projects that will be important to stimulating the city’s economy,” he said.
“The 700 new jobs created by this programme will help bring people who need employment—in particular Māori and Pasifika youth and people made redundant due to COVID-19—into the construction and environment industries. It will provide valuable training, secure, long-term work and future employment opportunities for Aucklanders, while helping to create thriving and sustainable communities and deliver much-needed infrastructure for our region.”
The Ngā Puna Pūkenga programme sees Auckland Council working with its infrastructure sector suppliers to encourage employment opportunities for people struggling to find work and now also includes people who have lost jobs because of COVID-19. The MSD funding will support employers to provide training and employment for the 700 new recruits.
In total, 420 placements are for Māori, rangatahi, Pasifika, long-term unemployed, and people not in education, employment, or training. A further 280 placements are for people made redundant as a direct outcome of COVID-19.
Ngā Puna Pūkenga – Skills for Industry is a partnership between MSD and Auckland Council launched in August 2019 for an initial pilot of 60 contracted places. It is supported by Civil Contractors New Zealand, the industry association, and The Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs.
The programme sources pre-qualified candidates through MSD providers, who are then profiled to Auckland Council suppliers. MSD funding is released to suppliers by Auckland Council to support employment and training, aligned to social outcomes.
In its first year, the pilot programme has provided employment across 12 infrastructure companies, including Citycare, McConnell Dowell and Dempsey Wood, working on various projects across Auckland such as the Daldy Street outfall project and the Taiaotea Stream restoration project.