Contents

Employment services

Course Participation Assistance

Background

What is Course Participation Assistance?

Course Participation Assistance helps clients to pay the costs of participating in employment-related training.

The courses or programmes attracting this assistance are generally less than 12 weeks long. Course Participation Assistance can only be considered for longer courses when the courses do not qualify for Student Loans or Student Allowances.

Course Participation Assistance may be paid to cover:

This assistance:

Course Participation Assistance was introduced on 1 April 2007.

Who can receive Course Participation Assistance?

To receive Course Participation Assistance, a client must:

The following factors are also taken into account:

– appropriate to the client’s personal situation and skill development needs
– in line with the client’s service plan and is a progression towards employment
– likely to improve the chances of the client gaining employment.

The course or programme the client is attending must be:

Income and asset tests

Income and asset tests apply.

The income and asset limits for receiving Course Participation Assistance are shown in table CP.1.

table CP.1: Income and asset limits for Course Participation Assistance (applicable from 1 April 2012)

Client status1 Income limit2 Asset limit
Single, 16–17 years $468.23 $1,025.11
Single, 18 years or over $538.15 $1,025.11
Married, with or without children $781.62 $1,708.10
Sole parent, one child $653.01 $1,708.11
Sole parent, two or more children $687.98 $1,708.11

Notes

  1. ‘Married’ includes clients who are married, living as married, or in a civil union.
  2. The income limits shown are weekly incomes before tax.

Payment rates for Course Participation AssistanceTop

Maximum assistance levels have been set for each of the costs covered by Course Participation Assistance. These maximum payments are shown in table CP.2.

table CP.2: Maximum payments of Course Participation Assistance (available from 1 April 2012)

Purpose Maximum payment1
Tuition and enrolment fees (per course) $200.00
Transport costs (per week)2 $60.00
Caring costs (per week)2,3 $80.00

Notes

  1. Maximum weekly payments available from 1 April 2012. These maximums cannot be exceeded, and clients cannot receive more than $1,000 in Course Participation Assistance in a 12-month period.
  2. Some clients receive help with both transport and caring costs. The combined amount of assistance paid toward these costs cannot exceed $80 a week.
  3. May be available to cover the costs of formal or informal care arrangements for children, disabled people or older people. Childcare costs covered exclude any costs met by a Childcare Subsidy, an OSCAR Subsidy or a Child Disability Allowance.

Numbers receiving Course Participation AssistanceTop

The number of clients receiving Course Participation Assistance remained relatively flat between 2010/2011 and 2011/2012

This pattern (see table CP.3) followed an increase between 2007/2008 and 2010/2011. This pattern reflected a combination of:

Three in five recipients of this assistance were receiving an Unemployment Benefit

Sixty-one percent of those receiving Course Participation Assistance in 2011/2012 were receiving an Unemployment Benefit (see table CP.3). This compared to 67% in 2009/2010. There was a corresponding increase in the proportion of recipients being paid an ‘other main benefit’.

These changes reflected patterns in the receipt of main benefits.

table CP.3: Financial assistance paid to clients receiving a payment of
Course Participation Assistance

Financial assistance paid when Course Participation Assistance received Number of payments of Course Participation Assistance1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Unemployment Benefits 1,540 2,751 5,782 5,914 5,640
Domestic Purposes Benefits 776 773 906 1,373 1,337
Sickness Benefits 525 722 810 663 689
Invalid’s Benefit 288 269 357 268 193
Other main benefits2 495 807 823 822 1,325
New Zealand Superannuation or
Veteran’s Pension
0 0 1 0 0
None of the above assistance3 0 0 0 0 84
Total 3,624 5,322 8,679 9,040 9,268

Notes

  1. The number of payments of Course Participation Assistance recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.
  2. Comprises Unemployment Benefit – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Hardship – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Student Hardship, Independent Youth Benefit, Widow’s Benefit and Emergency Benefit.
  3. Includes clients receiving other supplementary benefits, an Unsupported Child’s Benefit or an Orphan’s Benefit.

What the payments covered

Course Participation Assistance payments became less likely to be for fees

Fifty-two percent of the Course Participation Assistance payments in 2011/2012 were for fees (see table CP.4). This compares with 69% in 2009/2010. There was a corresponding increase in the proportion of payments for transport (from 30% to 47%).

Since the introduction of Course Participation Assistance in 2007/2008, caring costs have accounted for a very small proportion of assistance payments.

table CP.4: Reasons for payments of Course Participation Assistance

Reason for payment Number of payments of Course Participation Assistance1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Caring 78 83 70 57 37
Fees 2,066 3,115 6,005 5,755 4,856
Transport 1,480 2,124 2,604 3,228 4,375
Total 3,624 5,322 8,679 9,040 9,268

Note

  1. The number of payments of Course Participation Assistance recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.