Connecting for Youth Employment

Published: 1 September 2015

News type: Local news   

Source: MTFJ e-News


Connecting for Youth Employment (CYE) Trust was established in Central Hawke’s Bay (CHB) in 2013, with support from the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, to ensure that the community continues on a path to provide employment and training opportunities to young people.

Led by Kelly Annand and Vikki Graham, the primary objective of CYE is to connect like-minded agencies in CHB and facilitate discussions around local opportunities for young people.

 “We have a strong network of local providers, who identify local opportunities and work together. None of us are patch protective and all have the same goal; to ensure people have training and employment opportunities in CHB,” Mrs Annand says.

The Central Hawkes Bay District Council (CHBDC) is committed to Youth Development and adopted a Youth Strategy four years ago to ensure the council is up-to-date with what is happening in the youth space within the community. Mayor Peter Butler says ”young people are vitally important to the economic development of the Central Hawke’s Bay”.  CHBDC’s Safer CHB Coordinator attends the CYE led meetings and provides input from the council, as well as taking ideas back to weave into council activities.

Mrs Annand says all the information it gives to council is opportunity based, and focuses on the positives of what the community has to offer young people. “We feel that this is the best way to approach things to ensure that the good work that has begun continues and becomes sustainable” Mrs Annand says.

Throughout its two years in operation, CYE’s success continues to grow and shape the organisation today.  Programmes include connecting unemployed young people with employers, meeting industry training needs such as forklift operators, and an annual ‘Youth Element Course’ designed to expose young people who are not engaged in training or employment to local opportunities.  

CYE supports Mr Apple to hold employer expos for high school students and host the community's Industry Training Graduation ceremony for those that have completed a qualification.  They helped coordinate the first Youth Shift for high school students with one of their key employers, Mr Apple, as well as being actively engaged with the CHBDC’s Youth Council.

One of the main focuses of the organisation is ensuring that young people in CHB are armed with a drivers licence.  They provide all the support and resources needed to break down the bureaucracy that surrounds getting a licence these days.  They host two professional driving instructors and hold a weekly licence class where people can access study help for learners and driving lessons from volunteer mentors.  So far they have helped over 250 young people get to the next stage of their licence.   They are also working in partnership with Mayors Taskforce for Jobs to address the licencing issues on a national level.

Mrs Annand is also a trustee on the Wellington Regional Youth Workers Trust which focuses on empowering youth workers in their communities and giving them professional skills. They offer training and support to upskill local youth workers who are on the ground working with young people.

Mrs Annand also plays an active role engaging with local employers and profiling each to understand the demand of each business. By doing this, she has found it a lot easier to prepare young people to meet local demands, while also equipping the employers to ensure they are ready to employ young people.

Although there has been strong success, CYE recognises that the seasonal employment opportunities within the community are often a negative as for many people they can be without work for 4-6 months of the year. The network is working hard to collaborate with employers and training providers to ensure that there are upskilling options available at these times of year to combat this issue.

“The only reason CYE is successful is because the trustees and employees are passionate about CHB and ensuring that there are local opportunities for young people to thrive and hopefully choose CHB as the best place to live and bring up their families” Mrs Annand says.

“Our community has everything it needs to be successful and we are simply a connection to the process.  Our mission is to see all young people in CHB engaged in sustainable employment or training”.