Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis said the initiative was an "outstanding success". Photo File A_BTG300320TRACUSE.JPG
By Leanne Warr
A joint initiative between the Ministry of Social Development and Tararua District Council is being hailed as an "outstanding success".
The programme was initially for 12 weeks, where some long-term jobseekers were employed on various projects for the council.
Some of the projects completed included clearing debris from open stormwater drains, clearing vegetation on alleyways and walkways, and painting the pedestrian tunnel under the Dannevirke railyard.
Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis said the initiative was an "outstanding success" and allowed the council to do some of those "extra things" such as the tunnel.
She said it had some great people and she had no reservations.
"We'll be looking at how we can further support that programme.
"We'd love to see those guys in permanent roles."
Collis said those on the programme got to do some great projects, which meant a lot to the community.
"Not only have they done themselves proud, they've encouraged us to be involved a bit more."
MSD acting Regional Commissioner Graham Allpress said the flexi-wage programme was one of the ways they were supporting New Zealanders into work.
The programme involves helping employers hire staff and getting people the skills needed.
"We supported the flexi-wage Project in the Community initiative with Tararua District Council to enable disadvantaged job seekers to participate in community and environmental projects and help them develop general on-the-job skills to support them towards getting long-term employment."
The project was approved for an initial 12 weeks from May to August 2021, but had now been extended to the end of this month.
Allpress said the initiative was extended to enable participants to remain engaged in employment through the construction off-season, with the intention that they would transition to sustainable jobs within the Tararua Alliance.
"With significant projects such as the Huarahi Tūhono - Weber to Wimbledon (Route 52), the council is confident jobs can be found."
Two people involved in the project had since secured full-time work.
Feedback on the initiative and on those participating in the project had been very positive, Allpress said.