Minister of Employment: 'We're trying to give the unemployed a chance'

Night Talk 09/08/2018

Mitch Harris talks with Minister of Employment Willie Jackson on today's announced apprenticeship scheme named 'Mana in Mahi' ('strength in work').

The Mana in Mahi scheme is for 18 to 24-year-olds who have been on the dole for at least six months. 

The pilot starts with 150 places, of which 40 have already filled - and 4000 is the end game. 

"We know that it's pretty aspirational," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said. But National MP Paula Bennett says it's "too aspirational". 

Employers who take on an apprentice will be given $9750 - equivalent to a year on the dole. So for an apprentice earning $20/hour, that's $41,600 a year. 

The employer tops up their pay by $31,850. All up, the scheme will cost up to $63 million. That includes shifting funding from the benefit and new funding to support the apprentices. 

Night Talk with Mitch Harris, 8pm - 12am Monday to Thursday nights on RadioLIVE, and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.