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Skills for Growth

Training grants

Skills for Growth invests in the upskilling of young employees aged 16 to 24 years.

Janice Stevens – Early Bird Bakery

Skills for Growth is a $5,000 subsidy for employers to take on young people aged 16-24 from benefit and provide them with training towards a recognised industry qualification (of at least Level Two on the NZQF). The subsidy is to help the employer meet the training costs and the costs of supporting the young person while they are training. One such business in Hawkes Bay using Skills for Growth to good effect is Napier's Early Bird Bakery. 19 year old Christina Fowden was placed into a Skills for Growth position at Early Bird in November through Taradale work broker Janice Stevens and the help of Angela Garnham, Employment Consultant with 'Create the Edge'. The pair were able to cross credit some of Christina's NZQA credits toward her gaining a Certificate in Hospitality Level 2.

Under the first six months of any employment under Skills for Growth, Work and Income make an initial subsidy of $1,000 when the young person has a confirmed job offer. That is followed by $3,000 after 13 weeks' work and training and a further $1,000 either:

  • on the completion of the young person's qualification provided they are still employed (payable after six months at the earliest) or
  • completion of 12 months' employment provided the employee is still working towards achieving the qualification identified in their training plan.

Work and Income's Janice Stevens says for a young person to qualify for Skills for Growth, they have to have previously been on a benefit and actively looking for work. She recommends employers sit down and talk with WINZ work brokers regarding their products and services to gain a better understanding of how they help. She says "there's a lot of stigma in terms of the types of clients we work with but don't underestimate them because many go on to successful employment". The current youth benefit rate is $167.83 per week. Compare that with the $13 minimum wage and Janice Stevens says young people are better off working, and many she deals with, want to.

If you have any questions about Skills for Growth, or want to find out whether your job opportunity meets the criteria email us at [email protected] or, contact Employer Line on 0800 778 008.

Generally employers can receive $5,000 towards the costs of training new permanent young employees to industry standards. To qualify, employers must commit to supporting the young person to achieve a Level 2 (or higher) qualification on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. The support provided by the employer includes meeting the costs of the training, for example, fees and stationery.

For further information please contact either:

Karen Bartlett
Phone: 06 974 7420
Mobile: 029 200 6228
Email: Click here


Mark Swinburne
Phone: 06 974 8241
Mobile: 029 200 7276
Email: Click here