Four former beneficiaries have had their self-esteem boosted after being helped into work.

All four were on unemployment benefits and now work as millhands for Featherston's Davis Saw Mill through a Work and Income recruitment programme.

They are finding working life better than being unemployed, giving them more money and a reason to get out of bed every morning.

The men were placed in the jobs through a recruitment programme by Work and Income work broker Richard Fry, who works closely with employers to secure work for the jobless.


Single-father Stephen Longshaw, 42, said he had been "between jobs" and had been on a benefit for about five years.

"I was looking to get back into the workforce but I had the children," he said.

One of the biggest bonuses from being employed was having money in hand, Mr Longshaw said.

He loves working.

"There is always a little extra in the pocket at the end of the week.

'Life is a lot better when you are earning money and working. It's good for your self-esteem too," he said.

Thomas Reynolds, 23, said working offered him liberty, which a benefit did not provide.

"I've got more freedom and more money now."


Former roadworker Malu Lole, 23, enjoys having more cash to budget with.

"More money in hand always helps."

After three years of unemployment, Mathew Guillard, 27, said life was becoming "normal" now he was employed.

"The money is good but the best thing is it is a normal life. It's better than sitting at home with nothing to do."

All four are still supported by the work broker, who checks in with them to ensure everything is heading down the right track as far as their jobs are concerned.

Davis Saw Mill general manager Murray Oakly said the recruitment programme benefited the employer as well as those looking for jobs.


"It has worked extremely well for us. These guys are all good workers."

The only downside was sometimes those looking for employment were not in the right space for a job but the work broker helped weed out those who were not suitable, Mr Oakly said.

"We require a calibre of people who want to work, like these guys. They have a good work ethic and are reliable."