Thursday, November 30, 2023

Minister to attend employment talks and International Arts Summit

Minister Carmel Sepuloni is headed to the Northern Hemisphere for a range of key engagements following the opening of Aotearoa New Zealand’s borders.

The Minister depart tomorrow to visit Paris, Amsterdam, The Hague, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“Now that Aotearoa New Zealand is open for business, it is vital that we continue to lay the foundations, build upon existing work to reconnect and restrengthen our ties with the rest of the world,” said Minister Sepuloni.

“With our unemployment rate one of the lowest in the OECD, our response to COVID-19 has positioned us well to respond to a challenging global situation. Our economy has come through the pandemic better than nearly anywhere in the world and this is a story worth sharing,” she said.

In Glasgow, the Minister will meet her employment and social development portfolio counterpart, Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training.

“As with Aotearoa New Zealand’s Regional Workforce Plans, Scotland’s regional skills investment plans aim to create a more highly skilled and resilient workforce and better balance the skills of local workers with the skills employers need,” Ms Sepuloni said.

“Empowering workforce planning at a regional level recognises regions have diverse and distinctive needs. It will be invaluable to learn more about Scotland’s more established experience with this approach.”

In The Hague and Paris, she will discuss how employment programmes in France and the Netherlands have supported their recovery from COVID-19, along with local approaches to social unemployment insurance.

“The Dutch social unemployment insurance scheme has been in place since 1952. I’m interested in how they’ve achieved success with their scheme, and how we can benefit from their learnings and feed that into the design of our proposed New Zealand Income Insurance scheme,” the Minister said.

“It’s crucial that we continue to learn from our foreign counterparts to improve our ways of working, how we can better protect workers and their incomes, and build the skilled workforce that we need as we secure our recovery from COVID-19.”

The Minister will also visit the headquarters of the OECD in Paris.

“I am looking forward to meetings with the OECD Secretary-General, as well as key employment and income insurance experts to draw on their unique international expertise with regards to these initiatives.”

In her role as Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Ms Sepuloni will present to the Edinburgh International Culture Summit in Scotland, which runs over three days from 26 to 28 August 2022.

“As one of the most important events in the international arts and culture calendar, the Summit is a unique opportunity to learn about other Governments’ experiences when facing similar challenges to Aotearoa,” Ms Sepuloni said.

Under the korowai of the Culture and Education theme, the Summit will explore the vital role of arts and culture in curricula and how it enriches our worldviews.

“The Summit will be an important platform where we can demonstrate the prestige of toi Māori and highlight the benefits of Aotearoa New Zealand’s arts and culture on the world stage,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to using the opportunity to present to highlight Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum rollout and our Creatives in Schools programme.

“Following significant investments in New Zealand’s arts and culture sectors as part of our COVID-19 response, the Summit will also provide key international insights that will help inform our future supports for creatives.

“This trip presents a real opportunity for us to share our learnings from COVID-19, and gain insights into how we can continue moving our employment, education and training system as well as our economy in the right direction.”

The Minister will return on 3 September.

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