Welfare that works

A National Government will take a different approach to cutting benefit dependency among young people because they and taxpayers are currently being failed.


Young people being on welfare can lead to a life of isolation and often despair, instead of participation and fulfilment through work. National wants every New Zealander to have the best opportunity to make the most of themselves.

National will use community providers, clear obligations, and targeted incentives to get young people off welfare and into work.

Community provider Job Coach

National will contract not-for-profit community providers, such as NGOs or iwi, to get 18-24-year-olds who have been stuck on Jobseeker for three months or more off welfare and into work.

These young Jobseekers will get a dedicated Job Coach who will work with them to help prepare for work and get into a job.
Community providers will receive upfront funding to work with these young Jobseekers, plus performance payments for shifting young people out of welfare and into work, provided they remain off benefit for at least 12 months.

Intensive support for Jobseekers

Every young person who has been on Jobseeker for at least three months will receive a proper assessment of their barriers to finding work. These might include speech and language issues, learning disabilities, drug and alcohol addiction or key work skills gaps.
Each young Jobseeker will also receive an individualised plan with agreed actions they will need to take to obtain employment and address challenges preventing them from finding a job.

Sanctions and incentives

Young Jobseekers who fail to undertake agreed activities in their plan will face sanctions from MSD, such as money management or benefit reductions. To assist community providers in reducing long-term benefit dependency, National will also introduce a bonus payment of $1000 for under 25-year-olds who have been on the Jobseeker benefit for longer than a year, who find work and remain off benefit for 12 months.

Read our factsheet here.