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Govt 'kick-starts' plan for jobseeker careers in screen sector

Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni at FilmFX in Henderson, Auckland today.  Photo/File

The government is kick-starting an initiative to assist jobseekers develop careers in the screen sector following plans by Amazon Studios and Netflix to film major productions in West Auckland.

Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni says a vibrant screen sector is opening up career possibilities for jobseekers.

“The growth in the screen sector is creating a range of career opportunities, she says.

“There’s a wealth of innovative business activity happening with television and film projects and that means more jobs in all areas, including the roles that provide support like scaffolders, caterers, electrical technicians, security guards, beauticians and hairdressers."

As a first step, the minister has established several internships to assist jobseekers develop careers in the industry.

“MSD will be funding 20 paid internships in the screen sector to kick-start the career of MSD clients and other people who are disadvantaged in the employment market."

The ministry is also partnering with Auckland’s economic development agency ATEED to help develop employment and training opportunities in the sector.

“The screen production sector’s contribution to Auckland’s GDP has increased from $289m in 2013 to $372m in 2018 and new projects are expected to keep driving economic growth,” Minister Sepuloni says.

Amazon Studios' plans to film a second season of its series based on The Lord of the Rings and Netflix's filming of the first season of Cowboy Bebop is a coup for New Zealand's screen industry, Phil Twyford, Minister for Economic Development, says.

They join Hasbro's Power Rangers and many other domestic productions being filmed across Auckland, the Labour MP for Te Atatū says.

“We know when businesses start up in any community, there’s increased demand for other local, connected services. West Auckland is already home to many world-class screen and creative businesses, from prop makers to special effects wizards, and material and service providers.

“The arrival of the massive Amazon Studios project in Auckland will result in the setting up of even more businesses to service the largest production ever seen in New Zealand, and which will go on to supply other industries.

“The series based on Lord of the Rings is an unprecedented opportunity for West Auckland, creating jobs and spin-off industries. This partnership is great news for West Auckland,” Twyford says.