GOLOCAL

Ruapehū District Council wants to contract businesses in its area for Covid-19 recovery work, including employing people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

The council is seeking expressions of interest for contract work on sections of the Mountain to Sea Cycle trail, maintenance of exotic trees on road margins, and firewood processing.

It has $1.3m of funding from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for projects structured to provide training and employment for local workers displaced by the Covid economic crisis.

To qualify, businesses must be owned and operated by people who reside or operate in Ruapehū, be able to start work immediately, employ local workers displaced by Covid-19, notably from highly affected groups such as Māori, Pasifika and women, and be able to provide training and skills development alongside employment.

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Ruapehū recovery manager Warren Furner said the Government wanted to prioritise social outcomes, and get people economically affected by Covid employed as soon as possible.

"Small and medium-sized businesses, or people impacted by Covid with the appropriate experience and who are now looking for business opportunities, are encouraged to submit an expression of interest," Furner said.

"Employers looking to retain staff employed in their businesses may also consider registering their interest to deliver these projects over the next 12 months.

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"Individuals displaced by Covid and looking for employment should ensure that they are registered with the Ministry of Social Development or Ruapehū Recruitment."

Furner said that, although the Government has said it wants local Māori, Pasifika and female workers in particular to benefit from the contracts, all workers displaced by Covid had opportunities for employment.

"As Government wants to see things happening at pace, council will be moving quickly to align the opportunities with everyone who meets the criteria and make decisions on the successful expressions of interest."

• Businesses wanting more information on the available opportunities should call Ruapehū District Council on 07 895 8188 or register their interest in receiving the application documents by emailing info@ruapehudc.govt.nz