Mainstream Employment Programme
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About the Mainstream Employment Programme
The Mainstream Employment Programme provides a package of subsidies, training, and other support to help people with significant disabilities get work. By taking part in the Programme, employers are tapping into the benefits of employing someone with a disability and future-proofing their workforce.
We are currently revising the processes for the Mainstream Employment Programme and as a result the web pages are under development. Please contact National Contracts 04 914 2424 if you require further information.
What the Mainstream Employment Programme provides
- A 100% salary subsidy for the first year of employment, and 80% of the salary for the second year.
- Funding for external training for Mainstream participants and their direct supervisors.
- Funding to meet participants’ adaptive technology or specialised assistance costs.
- An advice and referral service for employers and Mainstream participants.
- Follow-up support for participants and their direct supervisors.
Features of the Programme
- It's a four-way partnership among Work and Income, supported employment agents (disability employment experts), employers, and people with disabilities.
- Positions must be created and, in the case of State sector placements, are outside of the staff allocation or staff cap.
- The specially-created positions are tailored to the skills and aptitude of the participants, and the needs of the employers.
- Participants are not expected to be 'job-ready' when they start. They are trained on the job and have access to extra training funding from Mainstream.
- Pay is comparable to the pay of others performing similar duties.
- Knowledge and skills are built up over time, with the support and goodwill of co-workers.
- After two years, it is expected that participants will be much better equipped to compete for advertised vacancies.
- No guarantee of on-going employment is expected but most participants go on to get sustainable employment.
- Mainstream participants work throughout New Zealand, from large cities like Wellington to small centres like Kaikohe.
Principles of Supported Employment
Mainstream subscribes to the principles of Supported Employment, which are:
1. Placement First, followed by Training and Support
The traditional approach of assessment, training and placement is reversed. Rather than being concerned with whether people are work-ready, people who experience significant disability are placed in employment and then training and support needs are established and met.
2. Ongoing Support
The establishment of natural support mechanisms with colleagues like your supervisor and workmates are essential to successful employment.
- Supervision and support;
- The same training they would provide to other employees; and
- Additional training not provided to other staff, to enhance the participant's ability to gain permanent employment.
3. Financial Remuneration
Mainstream Participants get the same rate of pay as anyone else completing similar tasks.
4. Universal Eligibility
All people should have the right to employment.
5. Integrated Settings
People who experience disability(s) have the right to employment alongside people without disabilities.
6. Career Development
Mainstream Participants have the right to choose their own career path.
There is more information about the principles of Supported Employment on the website of the Association of Supported Employment in New Zealand.
Mainstream Internship Programme
The Mainstream Internship Programme provides a subsidy and other support to enable employers to employ disabled students in short-term internships in their chosen field of study.