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MTFJ e-Newsletter: Our Youth, Our Future - Volume 2

The second volume of the MTFJ e-Newsletter; Our Youth, Our Future, was released in October 2015 and features local government case studies, success stories and the recent work the MTFJ has been doing around the country.

Youth Inspire - Hutt City Council

Hutt CityIn 2013 after a story aired on Campbell Live about the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, Community Leader Awhina Vailima (founding and current Trustee member of Youth Inspire) spent a day with the Manager of the highly successful Mayors Taskforce for Jobs in Otorohanga.  

Awhina loved what she saw and this was the beginning of her quest to replicate this within the Lower Hutt area, in particular her home town of Wainuiomata.  An instant working group was formed which then led to the establishment of YOUth Inspire, a Trust empowered with delivering the taskforce in Wainuiomata. The  Trust members comprise of a wealth of knowledge coming from different sectors including education, training, business and community. 

The Kaitikai of the Trust is Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace.  Mayor Wallace firmly believ es “By creating opportunities for young people to gain skills and get jobs, like we are doing with Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, we make a significant impact on youth lives and the communities they live in.  Getting a job means a lot more than just getting paid, it will increase their self- esteem, give them confidence and independence.  Wouldn’t that be great if we all supported youth to become active members of our community, to increase their opportunities in life, to give them the confidence to progress towards a brighter future for themselves.  This is exactly what YOUth Inspire is all about, making connections, linking the dots that create pathways to employment or skills training.”In 2013 after a story aired on Campbell Live about the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, Community Leader Awhina Vailima (founding and current Trustee member of Youth Inspire) spent a day with the Manager of the highly successful Mayors Taskforce for Jobs in Otorohanga. 

This was the beginning of changes for the youth in Wainuiomata. Partners such as Hutt City Council, Wainuiomata High School and a number of educators and businesses started to support this initiative. Hutt City Council fully supports YOUth Inspire’s work and cemented their relationship by supporting the Trust through their Annual Plan.  Since June 2014 YOUth Inspire has grown its funding sources/key partners to include Ministry of Social Development, Todd Foundation, and the Department of Internal Affairs. 

We have approximately 200 youth registered as unemployed in Wainuiomata alone.  Let’s face it, youth unemployment is a serious issue here.  When youths have no jobs, nothing to do and lack of skills, it can lead to them making poor choices which can affect their future. 

The youth numbers registered with YOUth Inspire have continued to grow and so has its business and education partners, such as Taylor Preston Limited, Pak n Save Petone, Value Motors, Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, Weltec to name a few. 

To keep up with the growth, as of 1 July 2015, three permanent full time staff members will be employed by the Trust.

Led by Bronson Wharehinga, the YOUth Inspire (YI) Manager, the primary objective for the organisation is to ensure all young people in our communities are transitioned into Training, Education or Employment. YI is committed to making sure our youth are given every possible opportunity to thrive and achieve their future aspirations.

“ Our goal is to see ALL young people under 25 years old be engaged in appropriate education, training and employment.

YOUth Inspire has experienced tremendous growth in the 18 months since its conception. The success of the organisation during this period has laid a fantastic foundation to build on. As a result, part of the vision moving forward is to continually grow as an organisation and position YOUth Inspire nationally as one of the leading organisations that provide youth pathway opportunities for our young people. This will be a very challenging task however, I believe that the work we are doing is essential in ensuring that our young people are given the best possible chance to achieve whatever they want to achieve. We have a fantastic team here at YOUth Inspire and I’m excited about what the future holds for our young people with the help of our team. “

The YOUth inspire team also consists of Alison Black who has been brought into the team as the new Business Partnership and Programme Coordinator, and Tyler Skipper-King who has been newly appointed as the Youth Pathways Coordinator.  Alison has a wealth of experience working in local communities to effect positive change. She also brings an excellent understanding of needs of local businesses and how to best place our young people.

 “I believe our young people should be supported into employment, training and education. I believe that understanding our young people, encouraging positive change and being empathetic of individual needs can only lead to a better future for our young people”.

Tyler has had extensive experience within the youth sector, having previously been employed in residential youth work. He is extremely passionate about working with youth and ensuring they are given every opportunity to excel in their chosen career path.

“I believe that by strengthening the skills and effecting positive change in our young people, that not only effects positive change in their futures, but also effects change in the future of their whanau. This will only add to strengthening the community and ensure that it is a vibrant and prosperous place to live.”

The next 24 months will be a very important time for YOUth Inspire. Not only will the organisation continue to help youth reach their full potential and transition into career opportunities, but ensuring the organisation continues to experience growth through effective partnerships and collaboration with key stakeholders will also be very important.

“Our success is heavily reliant on the communities we work with. Ensuring we work collaboratively with our key stakeholders is vitally important and will help us provide the best possible opportunities for our young people.”

“We have a hugely important job here at YOUth inspire. Our young people are our future, and making sure that future is bright for our youth and the communities we work in is at the heart of what we do here at YOUth Inspire.”   

If you would like more information about the exciting work that YOUth Inspire is doing, please visit their website


MTFJ Workshops focus on boosting youth employment 

Workshop 3Throughout July 2015, the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ), supported by the Tindall Foundation delivered nine workshops throughout the country which focussed on boosting conversation around youth employment. The Workshops looked to explore, shape and strengthen the vital connection between young people leaving school and gaining employment.

MTFJ Chairman, Malcolm Campbell said “I cannot thank the Tindall Foundation enough for their support as these workshops would not have happened without them. It is a great thing for New Zealand to have an organisation like this that focuses on ensuring our young people are given the best possible opportunity in life.”

The workshops were facilitated by Dave Turner, who resides in Adelaide, Australia, and has completed youth transition projects throughout the world; he is an expert in working to unite education and employment. The workshops not only focussed on Dave’s expertise and knowledge, but also targeted local knowledge and experience to assist with tackling bigger and broader issues.

Following the workshops, Mr Turner said “The challenge is to create pathways of work and learning for young people that include, and go beyond, “The First Job”. Building the skills to be productive and making wise judgements is vital in today’s labour market and that requires learning in the workplace. In doing this, Employer engagement in careers education at school is particularly important, and local government can harness employer contributions and build local community-employer education partnerships”. He suggested following the workshops, the sectors priorities should include:

  1. Extending the local thinking around jobs for young people to the notion of “pathways and partnerships”;
  2. Inform central government of the need for funding and strategy that supports collaboration, leading to partnership-ready schools and employers, work-ready young people and youth-friendly employers;
  3. Paying special attention to the needs of disadvantaged and/or isolated communities and their challenged youth labour markets; and
  4. Respecting and sharing good practice between local communities and practices from “afar”.

The workshops attracted over 230 attendees from 54 councils, 4 central government departments, and various employer representatives and community stakeholders. The workshops received a great response and were rated either valuable or really valuable by nearly 90% of those that attended.

“It is critical for the local government sector to have these workshops as a forum to learn, discuss and work towards better supporting our Nation’s young people. It is equally important that mayors understand how important their role is in their community to ensure interaction between education and employers is happening” Mayor Campbell said.

Workshop 2

These workshops underpinned the newly developed MTFJ strategy which was presented to the membership at its Annual General Meeting. This strategy takes a broader approach at youth employment and reiterates the need for employers to play an integral role in their local communities to better transition young people into training and/or employment.

Following the completion of the workshops, the MTFJ has identified a number of areas which the organisation needs to address, which includes mayors having greater access to information which will assist in addressing local issues and opportunities. Mayor Campbell says, “The MTFJ is in a strong position to be able to take the findings from these workshop and work with central government and other key stakeholders to put initiatives in place which will better assist our young people”

See some of the testimonials that were received following the workshops:

“Able to share and hear ideas of what others are doing. Great to hear about what is happening internationally.”

“I have been trying to connect into a forum such as this for 8 months. It has been very difficult. Now that I am here, the message is very clear, schools need to be involved.”

“Valuable discussions with other councils facing similar challenges - great to see/hear that the current path we are on is right but we need to continue on this path”

“This has provided me with a much needed clear next step to work towards my aim to fulfil the outcome that all our youth are "thriving and engaged".”

“My organisation is a body of youth, so the lesson that youth can help youth is important for us. Personally, the workshop was very stimulating and provided me a sounding board for my ideas on the issues we face.”

“Topics discussed were aligned to council’s strategic priorities/outcomes. Good for me to learn about 'best practice' models for tackling youth unemployment.”


Students given opportunity to explore local industry

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Ten Eastern Bay Students recently learned what it was like to work in the electricity supply industry at Tarawera High School in Kawerau.

Organised by the Eastern Bay Energy Trusts (EBET) and Connexis, in conjunction with Tarawera High School, the eight-day taster course gave interested young people an insight into career opportunities.

EBET Chairman Don Lewell said over the years there had been a serious shortage of young people coming into the electricity supply industry so the trustees continued to make a major commitment to industry education and training.

The course is designed for 16-19 year-olds and includes the fundamentals of electricity, workshop practices, including the use of power tools and machining equipment, and work-place communication.

Kawerau Mayor, Malcolm Campbell said “I believe the key to unlocking our local economies is exposing our young people to the various opportunities we have here in Kawerau. I have watched this course take place and can already see the benefits an initiative like this will have on an area like ours”.

The course is one of a few in New Zealand where trainees participate full-time for eight days in a live situation staying on the schools marae and taking part in a variety of team dynamic and motivation exercise, as well as the full daytime learning programme.

The students were given the opportunity to visit such places like the Genesis Energy’s Huntly power station and Mighty River Power in Hamilton. Site visits also included the control room at Horizon Energy, Fonterra in Edgecumbe and the geothermal power stations in Kawerau which are operated by Nova Energy and Mighty River Power.

Tarawera High School student Tem Hata was awarded trainee of the year. Course Tutor Ewen Graves said “Tem stood out because I could see by the expression on his face that he was taking it all in. He stayed on task, showed commitment throughout all components of the course and demonstrated what he learnt by achieving high marks in his assessment.

Tem said “The course has provided me with a great insight into what career pathways exist. The field trips were great as they provided a real life view of possible jobs”.

This year, EBET will invest over $200,000 in education and training. This investment includes funds towards the Energy Education programme delivered in Eastern Bay Schools, the taster course as well as scholarships and apprenticeship programmes.

Mayor Campbell said, “It is critical that we have initiatives like this for our young people so they can gain real life experience and training and uncover the local opportunities that are available to them”.


Jobfest15 a real success


The latest JobFest15 youth employment summit saw approximately 2,000 young people and 62 businesses meet up at North Harbour Stadium earlier this month in order to get more of Auckland’s youth into employment.

Businesses taking part in this latest JobFest were from a range of sectors, and had more than 500 vacancies they were looking to fill.

Businesses like Fletcher Building were looking for young people who could bring education, energy, keenness to learn and new ideas to their businesses.

JobFest connects young people with businesses and jobs, and are part of Mayor Len Brown’s Mayoral Youth Employment Traction Plan launched last year.  

More than 23,000 young Aucklanders are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) – 10.5 percent of all Auckland 15-24 year olds.

“The event at the stadium was remarkable,” said Mr Brown.  “It’s just so encouraging to see hundreds of willing young people who were ready to work hook up with employers who have a commitment to providing job opportunities to young people. 

“This is another important step towards to solving Auckland’s youth employment issue.”

The Mayoral Youth Employment Traction Plan provides a new approach to addressing youth employment in a practical, action focused way.

It brings together business, central government, young people and other key stakeholders to develop solutions and pathways to employing young people.

Auckland Council is committed to reducing the number of NEETs through initiatives like JobFest and with the help of its youth employment partners which include the Tindall Foundation and several high profile companies who have signed up to its Youth Employment Pledge.

As pledge partners companies such as Fletcher Building, Wharehine, SKYCITY, Xero, the Just Group, AWF and Auckland Council itself commit to providing job opportunities for young people.

Auckland Council will now analyse the results of JobFest15 in terms of how many young people were employed or were helped into future employment.

Analysis from the Manukau JobFest15 in February this year shows about 500 young unemployed people who attended got jobs or the chance of employment.

“Given there were both more young people and employers at this latest summit, we are confident this JobFest15 will be even more successful,” says Mr Brown.

The next JobFest event is scheduled to take place in early 2016. For more information on youth employment initiatives in Auckland visit


Connect15 provides employment links

Connect15 Logo

Connecting young people to potential jobs and careers was the idea behind the Connect15 jobs and careers event held on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 May 2015 in Hawera. 

The brain child of the South Taranaki Mayor’s Task Force for Jobs Steering Group it was led by the South Taranaki District Council in partnership with the Stratford District Council with support from Taratahi, Feats, Taranaki Futures, Parininihi ki Waitotara, AgriPeople, and Ki Uta Whanau Careers. 

The Friday session was aimed at students looking at where their future employment opportunities lie and what they need to get there.  Over 1400 pupils from all the high schools and some intermediate schools across the South and Central Taranaki districts attended.  Saturday was a chance for these same students to bring their supporters back to learn more and an opportunity for anyone else interested in a new job, or career change to attend.

"It's about highlighting local opportunities, local employers and training providers who can offer valuable advice to students, entrance requirements, areas of study as well as showing that you don't have to leave Taranaki to find an interesting and fulfilling career." Marcia Haigh, community development advisor for South Taranaki District Council said, “Taranaki is a great place to work, and we want our students to be aware of all the options.”

"It was great to see it all come together, and the interaction between the students and 31 exhibitors," said South Taranaki District Council Mayor Ross Dunlop.

One year 10 student said she enjoyed the opportunity to find out more about a range of careers and industries on the day and that it is good seeing the displays and being able to ask questions.

Exhibitor Grant Kobus, programme manager at Taratahi Taranaki, said the event was great to have in the area, in the first half of the year. "This is when students are thinking about the future and we wanted to be here to remind them of how many great opportunities there are in agriculture."

Exhibitors included agricultural/dairy support services, retail, motor and building trades, vet services and other representatives from the many trades that thrive in South and Central Taranaki, along with employment/training opportunities presented through training providers and agencies. 

The Regional Development Agency, Venture Taranaki were also present and discussed the options of self-employment and business ownership.  Representatives from the Taranaki Drugs Testing Agency were also in attendance and were pleasantly surprised by conversations they had with young people.

The overall feedback from the event was very positive from both exhibitors and attendees.  Feedback was sought from all the delivery partners, exhibitors, schools and attendees which have been part of discussions with the MTFJ steering group about the improvements that can be made for a possible 2017 event.

Photo gallery from event

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