Education to employment

Activate Tairawhiti creating Regional Youth Employment Strategy

Identifying gaps and opportunities to get young people into jobs

From The Gisborne Herald, April 29:

EMPLOYERS, businesses and the region’s young people are all to be given a say in the creation of a regional strategy to provide young people here with a “pipeline” into employment.

Activate Tairawhiti economic development project manager Kim Holland said as part of that, about 50 people had already accepted invitations to attend the first of three workshops intended to formulate and enact a Tairawhiti Youth Employment Strategy.

“We are particularly keen for employers and the business sector to be involved. Secondary and tertiary and training groups will also be taking part, as well as government and non-government agencies.

“We are really pleased with the level of response, which indicates the value of developing a strategy and the importance of what we are trying to achieve.”

She hoped at least 70 people would attend the first workshop at Te Tini O Porou on May 4, which would feature three guest speakers, including AUT associate professor of economics Dr Gail Pacheco, Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs coordinator Dan Henderson and Kelly Gay from Talent Central.

“Originally we were going to do just two workshops, the initial one to get people thinking about what we need, where the gaps are and what opportunities there are, and then a follow-up where that information and feedback would be presented.

"But we thought we should have a separate forum for the youth, so they can have a voice and do it in a way where they are supported to do that. So we are also going to have a workshop just for the Rangatahi, and they will be focussing on the same questions the other groups are, so the results can feed into each other.”

Funding from Todd Foundation, Work and Income New Zealand

The workshops, funded through the Todd Foundation and Work and Income New Zealand, would be facilitated by Activate Tairawhiti, using an independent contractor on behalf of other involved stakeholders, which include Gisborne Social Sector Trial and Te Runanganui O Ngati Porou.

There would also be an independent facilitator on the day. While separate from Eastland Community Trust’s Tairawhiti the Learning Region project, the workshops would complement the project.

“It is also about recognising that we are doing some really great stuff in this space. So it’s looking at what we are doing and where the gaps are as well. It’s not about reinventing the wheel but if we have a strategy that is an umbrella that everything fits under then we will all be working for the same outcomes.

“It’s an opportunity to develop and grow our young people and to create a talent pipeline by connecting industry and employers locally so they can see what the opportunities are.

“The benefit for the employers is that they have got their future workforce that they have already been engaging with and supporting.”

It was hoped the youth workshop would take place by the end of May with the follow up workshop initially planned for mid-June.

“People need to see that things are progressing and we hope to have agreed initiatives that people can move forward on in a collaborative approach.”

The outcomes of these workshops will be a Tairawhiti Youth Employment Strategy with actions identified and agreed with different stakeholders being involved in implementation.

There may be opportunity for further funding to support new actions and or initiatives.

From The Gisborne Herald, May 11:

THE FIRST of three workshops aimed at lifting Gisborne youth employment was a success, say participants. The workshop focused on the perspectives of employers, education providers, government organisations and community organisations, around what barriers they thought existed between youth and employment and what skills young needed, or could foster to gain employment.

The idea is that the information from the three workshops will be used to create an action plan and the Tairawhiti Youth Employment Strategy.

The workshop was also about creating positive outcomes for young people across the education, training and employment pathways.

“In solving the issues around youth unemployment we are assisting employers and business owners to meet their labour and skill needs,” said Activate Tairawhiti economic development project manager Kim Holland.

The workshops are funded through the Todd Foundation and Work and Income New Zealand and are facilitated by Activate Tairawhiti, using an independent contractor on behalf of other involved stakeholders, including Gisborne Social Sector Trial and Te Runanganui O Ngati Porou.

The next workshop, Rangatahi Futures, will take place on May 20 as a discussion between young people from throughout the community.

This is to gauge what they want and need and the barriers they are facing in gaining employment, said Ms Holland.

“Looking at what youth think from their perspective and facilitating that is important,” she said.

The third workshop next month will focus on key points from both workshops, to agree actions, to create pathways and opportunities for Tairawhiti talent, to better connect our young people with the world of work and local employment opportunities.

“That is when the real plan will come together and we will be able to see everyone’s collective thoughts.”