Single parents grab the chance

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 08:44 06/06/2014
Maia Palmer
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ
LOVING IT: Blenheim mother Rosa Mason has just started work after struggling to find employment with flexible hours which fitted in with family life.

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Single parents in Marlborough have been given the opportunity to get into the workforce, while balancing the care of their children.

Focus Labour Solutions owner Craig Mill saw a demand in the region for parent-friendly employment, and has put a solution in place which not only provides work, but also transport for workers to make it happen.

He organised vans to pick up the seven solo parents enrolled in the scheme about 9am each day, taking them to work in various Marlborough vineyards, before dropping them home about 2pm.

"The whole idea is to get people back into work and if it's part-time they can do that.

"Because they have children they won't be able to do full-time work and between school hours there's very little opportunity for them," he said.

To put the scheme into practice, Mill teamed up with Work and Income who recommended people in the community who were willing to work. His clients were also willing to hire part-time contractors.

"We all want to make it work, there's a whole group of us that want to make it happen," he said.

"These [parents] here, they actually want to work, and they want to go home to their kids as well."

Blenheim mother Rosa Mason said she had struggled to find work in the region which was flexible around her role as a mother.

"It's amazing, it's just an awesome opportunity to be able to get out of the house and do something, and socialise . . . it's awesome for them to give us the opportunity to do it in school hours."

Transport to and from work was an added bonus, which saved her money and made it easier to get there, she said.

Her colleague Craig Twose had also struggled to find work after returning from Australia, where he had been made redundant, and jumped at the opportunity of work.

"It's a job opportunity and you would be pretty stupid not to take it, a job is a job . . . that's the way I see it.

"The opportunity is there so you take it otherwise you will be on a benefit for the rest of your life," he said.

kat.duggan@mex.co.nz

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- The Marlborough Express

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