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Transformative Mayoral-led programme secures future funding

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) community employment programme has received $18 million over two years, securing multi-year funding from Central Government in this year’s budget announcement.

To date, the programme has successfully placed more than 4,000 people, mainly youth, into employment across the motu.

“Through our partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, we have been able to deliver an employment programme that has become a leading example of how great outcomes are created at a grassroots level when local and central government work together,” says MTFJ Chair and Mayor of Ōtorohanga, Max Baxter.

The programme is led by rural and provincial Mayors and delivered by MTFJ teams in partnership with local MSD teams. “Securing future funding is a testament to the immense impact these teams are having in their communities,” says Mayor Baxter. “We are seeing young people really come into their own - they are breaking patterns of unemployment, building community and connection when getting their driver licence, contributing to community spaces and developing resilience. We are also able to support employers to give young people that chance to get their foot on the ladder and support them to grow”.

MSD see value in this programme as local teams can look at the young person in front of them and make individual decisions about how their community can support them into a meaningful and successful next step. “With significant amounts of central and local government investment going into communities around Aotearoa over the coming years, working closely with local government to deliver broader outcomes is a real priority for us,” says Amanda Nicolle, Director Industry Partnerships, Ministry of Social Development.

With the approaching changes to local government in Aotearoa, MTFJ see opportunities to expand the employment programme into new Councils through their partnerships with other government agencies. “We’re looking at how we deliver even more impact for young people and growth for local businesses through council and central government investment,” says Mayor Baxter.

MTFJ has a wide network of partners, including EMA, Clearhead, Tuia and Outward Bound who support the Taskforce to provide opportunities for young people and the businesses that employ them.