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A Local Government, Central Government success story set to continue

A successful partnership between Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Industry Partnerships has paved the way for a young man to become a joiner, and work towards owning the business one day.


Mitchell Boyce, an 18-year-old school leaver from Tararua College, gained an apprenticeship at Murray Judd Joinery in Woodville, with the support of MTFJ and MSD’s Community Recovery Programme. The programme also provided him with tools and helped him gain his restricted driver licence. The programme has been running for two years and has placed over 2,500 youth and Covid-displaced people into employment. 

Given the success of this programme, MTFJ and MSD are pleased to announce a new $14-million investment for the next financial year. The Rural Community Resilience programme will focus on placing NEETS (young people not in education, employment, or training), people living with disabilities and other disadvantaged people into work. 

MTFJ chair and Ōtorohanga Mayor Max Baxter says the partnership has been immensely successful in helping young people into employment. 

“Mitchell is just one example of many youth we’ve helped. I’ve heard that his employer describes him as an asset to the business and this is music to my ears. 

“What we are doing is not only helping youth into work, we’re helping our businesses thrive in our rural communities.” 

Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, Minister Social Development and Employment says: “Many young people have missed out on basic life skills due to the disruption caused by Covid-19 and many are impacted by anxiety and other mental health challenges. 

“This means that local supports for young people and employers are critical. 

“We are pleased to be able to continue to fund this mahi and continue to collaborate with councils around New Zealand to focus on supporting rangatahi and businesses in rural areas.” 

Mitchell’s employer, Murray Judd says Mitchell wouldn’t have been able to do the apprenticeship without the support of the programme. 

Murray likes to give young people a chance and is glad he was able to provide that opportunity. “Mitchell is one in a million, he’s really stepped up to the mark and is doing a good job.” 

Mitchell now makes kitchen cabinetry and bench tops from scratch and takes a lot of pride in his work. 

The first kitchen he built and installed is likely to be highlighted in a house and garden magazine as part of the client’s renovations. 

His work is more than just a job and Murray now feels like family. 

“It’s like we’re father and son not employer/employee,” Mitchell says. 

“We talk about investments, how to get a mortgage and I even housesit for them when they’re away.” 

Mitchell says he is incredibly appreciative of the extra support and guidance Murray gives him. “It’s a great opportunity and building towards my future.” 

He’s got big plans and Murray has even talked to Mitchell about taking over the business when he retires.