Beneficiaries outside of Christchurch will be given a $3000 incentive to take up full-time
work in Christchurch, says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

Up to 1000 beneficiaries will be given a one-off payment of $3000 each if they have a fulltime job offer in Christchurch and are willing to move there, she announced today.

The rebuild following the Christchurch earthquakes was creating thousands of jobs and there were people ready to take them up but who did not have the means to get to Christchurch.

"With an unemployment rate in Canterbury of 3.4 per cent, lower than the six per cent nationally, there are plenty of opportunities," she said. "There is demand no only in construction, but in hospitality, retail and many other industries too."


The offer would be open to all ages but the focus would be on young people aged 18 to 24.

To qualify the job must be for over 30 hours a week and be longer for 91 days. The
payment would be non-taxable and exempt from any income and asset test.

Prime Minister John Key spoke about the announcement at a Business New Zealand
speech in Wellington today, saying the policy would be known as "$3k to Christchurch."
The Budget on May 115 would allocate $3.5 million for the initiative and it would operate
for 12 months from July 1 for up to 1000 beneficiaries.

Mr Key also said the Budget would provide up to $20 million to expand the apprenticeship "reboot" by 6000 places.

The reboot means apprentices can get their training costs subsidised.

It allowed eligible apprentices or trainees to access a subsidy of $1000 towards the cost of tools or off-course costs or $2000 for those in priority trades.

Since the reboot was announced over a year ago, 14,000 apprentices had signed up when normal sign-up was about 7000 a year.

Mr Key said the area of greatest growth in the Canterbury region had been in the
construction sector which had increased its workforce by 90 per cent.