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Service to help businesses connect with govt support

Businesspeople and aspiring business owners have a new way to learn about and access support available from government agencies.

Set up in August 2020, the Connected service links New Zealanders to support available throughout government for employment, education and training.

Funded by the Ministry for Social Development, the Connected service includes a website (Connected.govt.nz), a phone line (0800 264 737) and 35 Connected centres — including one in Gisborne, at the Work and Income Employment Centre at 106 Lowe Street.

It is run by employment liaison adviser Daljeet Cameron, who started her role with Connected in January.

Since then, Daljeet has worked with businesspeople throughout the region to help them find the type of support they need.

On a typical day, for example, Daljeet might connect a businessperson to Trust Tairawhiti's specialist business advisers, take part in a training support day for employers in Hicks Bay, provide information at a rural support roadshow, show business.govt.nz's information for start-ups to an aspiring entrepreneur, or help a sole trader learn how to manage their tax obligations by attending an Inland Revenue online seminar.

“Connected covers new initiatives set up in response to Covid-19 as well as the vast range of existing support available from government for people looking for work, business support, study or training,” Daljeet said.

“Businesses don't always know where to go to access the services they need, whether it's finding new staff or upskilling their existing staff. That's where Connected can really make a difference.”

For businesses, Connected is a quick and easy way to find government advice and assistance on issues such as finding staff, retaining and upskilling staff, starting and running a business or help for businesses affected by Covid-19.

Daljeet also works closely with Gisborne Chamber of Commerce, iwi, community groups and other organisations providing employment, education and training services.

“I've found Tairawhiti an amazing place to live and work. It's very open and friendly, and people are keen to make connections and support each other,” she said.

Connected centres host a wide range of activities, ranging from careers events for young people to training sessions and business networking functions. Employers can meet job seekers and run events at Connected centres.

Businesspeople and anyone else can drop into the Tairawhiti Connected centre to find out about the services available from government agencies in our region.

“You don't need an appointment — just drop in and see how Connected can help,” Daljeet said.

HERE TO HELP: Connected employment liaison adviser Daljeet Cameron. Picture by Paul Rickard