A new carwash business in New Plymouth is offering a leg-up to New Plymouth's unemployed.
Mick Willbourne, who runs similar businesses in Wellington and Tauranga, has employed four people through Work and Income at his Courtenay St Shop n' Shine site and hopes to hire two more.
"We are working with Winz to employ people who have a difficult time finding work," said Mr Willbourne, who is also offering work experience opportunities at the carwash.
Originally from Romford, East London, Mr Willbourne has been in New Zealand for about five years, and has previously worked as a butcher, owned a delicatessen and has worked in various hospitality positions.
He said he decided to open Shop n' Shine in New Plymouth due to a lack of similar services here.
"There's great opportunities for small businesses in Taranaki. We saw an opening in the market and decided to go for it."
Launched to coincide with Americarna last month, Shop n Shine's prices range from $15 for a quick wash to $50 for a more thorough mini-groom.
Work and Income Taranaki- King Country commissioner for social development, Gloria Campbell, said Mr Willbourne's initiative was to be applauded.
"This is great news for four local job seekers who are now in paid work. I hope other young people looking for work will be encouraged by this."
Work and Income offers a range of assistance to employers who provide first-time workers with a job or support unskilled workers who require training.
The assistance can include subsidising wages and funding for training.
Mrs Campbell encouraged other Taranaki employers to get in touch with their local Work and Income work broker, whether they were considering hiring now or in the future.
Jimmy Hick is a Witt journalism student.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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