Mainstream programmes

If you have a disability or health condition, including a mental health condition or neurodiversity, and you want to work, you can apply to join one of our Mainstream programmes. The programmes can help you get into paid work and support you towards getting a long-term job.

Information

As well as Mainstream, there are other supports available to help you into work, including Flexi-wage and Mana in Mahi. You can talk to us or an Employment Service provider about how these could help you find suitable work.

  • How it works

    Our Employment Service providers will work with you and employers to try find or create a role that suits your skills and capabilities. They'll aim to get you into a work placement with on-the-job training. There are different programmes to suit different situations and work goals.

    While you're on placement we'll pay either some or all of your wages, depending on which programme you're in. We pay this to your employer, and they pay your wages to you. You'll get paid the same amount as others doing similar work. If you're in the Mainstream Employment programme we can also help with extra training or equipment costs related to your disability and job.

    Ideally, you'll get the opportunity to have an ongoing job at the end of your placement.

  • Who can get it and what you can get

    Information

    As well as Mainstream, there are other supports available to help you into work, including Flexi-wage and Mana in Mahi. You can talk to us or an Employment Service provider about how these could help you find suitable work.

    To join any Mainstream programme you must:

    • have a disability or health condition, including a mental health condition or neurodiversity, and
    • be 16 or older, and
    • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and
    • normally live in New Zealand.

    There are three different programmes, find out who can get these and what you can get:


    Mainstream Employment programme:

    Who can get it:

    To apply for this programme you'll also need to:

    • have a disability or health condition (including a mental health condition or neurodiversity) that:
      • you need extra financial support for, and
      • significantly affects your ability to find work
    • have had this disability or health condition for at least six months, and
    • get a main benefit (eg Supported Living Payment or Jobseeker support), and
    • not get weekly compensation or vocational rehabilitation from ACC or another organisation.

    What you can get:

    An Employment Service provider will work with you and employers to try find or create a role that suits your skills and capabilities. You may already have an Employment Service provider. If you don't have one, or you don't know who your provider is, you can choose one from your area in this list:

    Once you're working in a role we'll pay your employer:

    • 80% of your wages for the first six months
    • 50% of your wages for the last six months.

    The funding runs for up to one year. Your employer will use this money towards paying your wages.

    We'll also help with:

    • funding for:
      • training outside of work
      • specialised equipment related to your disability
      • other assistance (eg transportation if you need this because of your disability)
    • ongoing support for you and your employer.

    Mainstream Internship programme:

    Who can get it:

    To apply for this programme you'll also need to be:

    • an active client with Be.Lab (if you're not already a client with them, you can contact them to talk about this. How to contact Be.Lab.)
    • in your final two years of study (your study must align with the New Zealand Qualifications Framework), or have finished full-time study in the last 12 months, and
    • registered with Disability Support Services at your education provider.

    You don’t need to be getting a benefit to apply for this programme.

    What you can get:

    • Be.Lab will work with you and employers to find or create a role that suits your skills and capabilities.
    • We'll pay your full wages to your employer for up to 12 weeks while you're on placement in that role, and your employer will pay this to you.
    • Be.Lab will help with ongoing support for you and your employer.
    • You'll get an opportunity to work in a field related to your study.

    Mainstream Paid Work Experience programme:

    Who can get it:

    To apply for this programme you'll also need to:

    • be an active client with Be.Lab (if you're not already a Be.Lab client, you can contact them to talk about this. How to contact Be.Lab.)
    • looking for work in an industry you haven't worked in before
    • have not completed tertiary study within the last two years (eg a bachelor's degree)
    • be getting a main benefit (eg Supported Living Payment or Jobseeker Support)
    • not be getting weekly compensation or vocational rehabilitation from ACC or another organisation.

    What you can get:

    While you're in the Mainstream Paid Work Experience Programme:

    • Be.Lab will work with you and employers to find or create a role that suits your skills and capabilities in an industry you haven't worked in before.
    • We'll pay your full wages to your employer for up to 16 weeks, and your employer will pay this on to you.
    • Be.Lab will help with any ongoing support for you and your employer.

    Ideally, you'll have an ongoing job at the end of your placement, unless you find another job elsewhere.

    You can only take part in one of these programmes, so please choose carefully. Talk to your Employment Service provider if you're not sure which one is right for you.

  • How to apply for a programme

    Step 1: Find a provider

    Which provider you use will depend on the programme you apply for.

    Applying for Mainstream Employment programme:

    Contact a provider in your area from our list:

    When you contact a provider they'll talk with you about the type of role that would suit you, and find an employer to work with. Your provider and the employer will work together to find or create a role that suits your skills and capabilities.

    Applying for Mainstream Internship or Paid Work Experience programmes:

    You'll need to already be a client with Be.Lab to apply for these programmes. You can contact them to talk about applying, or how to sign up with them:

    They'll talk with you about the type of role that would suit you, and find an employer to work with. Be.Lab and the employer will work together to find or create a role that suits your skills and capabilities. Be.Lab will also help you work out which Mainstream programme you should apply for.

    Step 2: Fill out an application form

    Your provider (either an Employment Service provider or Be.Lab) will give you an application form to fill out. They'll ask your employer to fill out their section as well. You, the employer and your provider all need to sign the form.

    Your provider will send the form to us, along with any documents we need, eg your CV.

    Step 3: We'll process the form

    When we process the application form, we'll check that you and the employer meet the criteria. Once we've processed the form, we'll let your provider know the outcome.

    Step 4: Your provider will contact you

    They'll tell you the outcome of your application.

    If it's approved, they'll tell you all the details for your placement, eg. when it will start and how much you'll be paid.

    If your application is not approved, talk with your provider about what other support to find work you may be able to access.

  • While you're in a programme

    While you're on placement, your provider will to:

    • help you with orientation in the workplace if you need it
    • have catch ups as needed with you to see how you're going
    • support you and your employer with any issues that may come up
    • identify any employment opportunities for you while you're on placement.

    Your employer and Employment Service provider will send us with a progress reports every three months about how your placement is going.