Employment Strategy

The Employment Strategy presents the Government’s vision for the labour market and the changes it is implementing to improve employment outcomes for all New Zealanders.

The Strategy recognises that good employment outcomes are influenced by a range of Government policy settings, and describes how the Government is intending to improve employment outcomes through the range of reforms it has underway to:

  • build a skilled workforce
  • support industries and regions to thrive  
  • support workplaces to modernise
  • support workers and businesses to be resilient and adaptable in the face of the changing nature of work
  • support more inclusive employment

The strategy sets out a roadmap for a series of Action Plans to ensure that those who consistently experience poor labour market outcomes have the support they need develop their skills, and achieve their potential with fulfilling careers.

Employment Action Plans

A key focus of the Strategy is to more inclusive employment outcomes, and this is supported by a series of action plans that focus on improving outcomes for groups that consistently experience poor employment outcomes. There are 7 employment action plans, which seek to improve labour market outcomes for:

  • Youth
  • Disabled people
  • Māori
  • Pacific peoples
  • Older Workers (50 and over)
  • Former Refugees, recent migrants, and ethnic communities
  • Women.

Youth Employment Action Plan - released in August 2019

The Youth Employment Action Plan sets out a programme of actions for government agencies to improve education, training and employment outcomes for young people.

The Youth Employment Action Plan Monitoring and Reporting Dashboard will be available soon. The dashboard sets out progress on implementing the Youth Employment Action Plan and monitors progress against key indicators.

Working Matters Disability Employment Action Plan - released in August 2020

Working Matters ensures disabled people and people with health conditions have an equal opportunity to access employment. You can find the alternative versions of the action plan for various accessibility needs and read more about at the link below.

Working Matters(external link) — Ministry of Social Development

Cabinet papers

Working Matters: Report back on the Disability Employment Action Plan(external link) — Ministry of Social Development

Working Matters Disability Employment Action Plan monitoring dashboards

The Working Matters Dashboard: October 2021 [PDF 523KB](external link) — Ministry of Social Development

The Working Matters Dashboard: March 2021 [PDF 369KB](external link) — Ministry of Social Development

Te Mahere Whai Mahi Māori - the Māori Employment Action Plan - released in February 2022

Te Mahere Whai Mahi Māori - the Māori Employment Action Plan aims to remove barriers and create opportunities for Māori to exercise rangatiratanga to create intergenerational wellbeing through work. Te Whai Mahi outlines immediate, medium- and long-term actions to support more Māori into quality employment, education and training.

Te Ara Mahi Māori reports

In 2020, an external reference group, Te Ara Mahi Māori, was set up to make recommendations on the focus areas for the Māori Employment Action Plan. The group’s recommendations formed the foundations of te Whai Mahi.

Pacific Employment Action Plan - in development

The Pacific Employment Action Plan starts a conversation for all of us about what new opportunities Government can support for better employment outcomes for Pacific peoples.

Older Workers Employment Action Plan - released in April 2022

The Older Workers Employment Action Plan acts as a blueprint on how the Government can help support and encourage older people to stay in the workforce if they want or need to.

It focuses on people aged 50 and over and is made up of 11 action items with a focus on training and upskilling, finding and staying in work, supporting employers to be more inclusive, and planning for the effects and opportunities of an aging workforce.

Older Workers Employment Action Plan launched(external link) — Office for Seniors website

Former Refugees, Recent Migrants and Ethnic Communities Employment Action Plan -  released in March 2022

The Former Refugees, Recent Migrants and Ethnic Communities Employment Action Plan brings together current and planned programmes of work across government to support former refugees, recent migrants and ethnic communities. The plan aims to remove barriers to accessing and participating in the labour market in a way that is satisfying and contributes to people’s wellbeing.

Government launches the Former Refugees, Recent Migrants and Ethnic Communities Employment Action Plan(external link) — Ministry for Ethnic Communities

Women’s Employment Action Plan - in development

The Women’s Employment Action Plan will provide actions to improve the employment outcomes for women in Aotearoa New Zealand. This is about removing the barriers that stop women from getting into and staying in work, and for women and their families to be financially secure and have access to good employment and work that suit their needs and their families’ needs. The Plan will be inclusive of all women and focus on specific actions to support women who are marginalised in the labour market (wāhine Māori, Pacific women, ethnic women, disabled women, young women, older women, LGBTQIA+ and sole mothers).

Women's Employment Action Plan(external link) — Ministry for Women website

Cabinet papers reporting on the Employment Strategy

Last updated: 27 April 2022