Flexi-wage – job seeker information

If you need support or training to get the skills you need for a job, we may be able to help.

Flexi-wage now provides more support for New Zealanders seeking work, including people who aren’t on a benefit. You can read about the changes (effective from 15 February 2021) in our news section.

If you are out-of-work and wanting to start your own business but needing some support, we may be able to help with Flexi-wage Self-employment.

What’s Flexi-wage

Flexi-wage is an employment programme that helps job seekers get the skills they need to meet the requirements of a job.

Flexi-wage support can include training and in-work support (such as pastoral care) as well as a contribution to wages. The job must continue after the Flexi-wage has finished.

Who can get it

You may be able to get Flexi-wage if you're:

  • at risk of long-term unemployment, including if you're on a benefit


  • disadvantaged in the labour market. You don’t need to be on a benefit.

Disadvantaged in the labour market means you have, or are expected to have, difficulty in getting or keeping a job. For example, you might have barriers to employment such as a lack of education and training, or you are at risk of losing your job.

Flexi-wage can help you get the required skills you need to move into a job, which might be:

    • with an employer who wants to hire you, or
    • with an employer you’re already working for who wants to move you into a different role that requires further training and more hours rather than making you redundant from your current role.

The employer also needs to meet the ‘Who can get it’ criteria outlined in Flexi-wage - employer information

The job must:

  • pay at least the minimum wage
  • have the minimum number of hours to meet any work obligations

and be:

  • ongoing, continuing after any Flexi-wage subsidy has finished, or
  • a project in the community that will help you get into work once it’s finished.

What you can get

We may be able to support you with training or in-work support (such as pastoral care), and by paying your employer a contribution to your wages until you have the skills you need to do the job.

We'll talk to your employer about what help you may need and how we can help them pay for it.

How to find out more

If you're already talking to us about your employment needs, ask about Flexi-wage.

If you’re not already talking to us about finding work and you don’t have an MSD client number, fill out the form below. If you select “I want help finding work” we’ll get in touch with you to talk about our employment services, which include Flexi-wage.

By getting a client number, you’re not necessarily applying for financial assistance but you can do that as well if you need to.