1 May 2018: The Government announced in January 2018 that the Better Public Services programme would not continue in this form. These pages have been archived.

In December 2014, we celebrated the placement of 200 Work and Income clients into in the construction industry through our industry partnership with Downer.

Since 2011, we have been working with Downer to train and place unemployed people (most of whom are under 40) into sustainable jobs. With the help of Work and Income funding, Downer has developed a short-term course they call their ‘Basic Civils’ programme, established in Canterbury and now offered across New Zealand.

The key ingredient is the upfront investment in people – integrating both practice and theory to equip people with the skills and confidence they need to successfully transition from benefit to sustainable employment.

90% of beneficiaries who attend the course graduate into a job with Downer and over eighty per cent will still be there after twelve months, meaning they are not only getting a job, but continuing in a career.

To celebrate the success of the programme, Downer made a DVD, published a book and hosted a celebration in Porirua, where a number of graduates spoke about how the opportunity has changed their lives and those of their families.

The programme is a great illustration of partnership with industry – not only are we achieving great results together for individuals, but the December 2014 celebrations demonstrate that the industry has a strong sense of joint ownership and pride in the venture and its outcomes.

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