Employers embrace youth for work scheme

An initiative focused on helping young people become work-ready and gain employment is gaining traction among local businesses.

The Wairarapa Youth, Education, Training & Employment (YETE) Partnership aims to bridge the gap between school leavers, tertiary graduates and employment, equipping young people with skill-sets that are matched to the demands of the Wairarapa job economy and industry.

Key to it being successful are employers being prepared to give students a go.

Chair of YETE, former Makoura College Principal Tom Hullena, says there is a “big shift” in local businesses valuing the importance of supporting young people into work.

“One of the exciting things that is happening is that local employers are recognising that they have a role to play,” he says.

“They are essentially opening up their businesses and being prepared to commit time and energy into shaping young people develop what is necessary to be successful in the workplace.”

One organisation really embracing the initiative is Trust House, Mr Hullena says. A significant funder of YETE, Trust House has also this year supported six college students through the Rangatahi to Mahi or R2M (Youth to Work) Partnership. The year long programme consists of workshops, with 20-hours of voluntary work and 80-hours work experience.

“The whole purpose of this is to get people into the line of work that they wish to pursue. If they are successful in this there is a big chance that their employer will give them work.”

Three of the students have now been offered permanent work with Trust House.

They were among eleven students this year to graduate in the Youth Employability Programme – Licence to Work (L2W) run by YETE. An additional 18 Year-11 students are completing the programme over two years.

Although established three years ago, it has only been in the last 12-months that YETE has had adequate resourcing to action its initiatives. Combined funding of $117,000 from Trust House, Masterton Trust Lands Trust, Masterton District Council, Greytown Lands Trust, Nikau Foundation and Thomas McCarthy Trust last year kick-started activities.

Trust House is back on board for a second year with a grant of $50,000.

“Not only is Trust House putting their money where their mouth is, they are leaders in terms of our organisation as they were the first ones to sign up and take young people for work experience through the programme”, says YETE Project Lead Josie Whaanga.

Another star performer is Neer Enterprises Ltd, who have taken on three students this year with the view to increasing that in 2018, Ms Whaanga says.

Success attracts success and the programme is gaining plenty of attention among Wairarapa businesses wanting to be involved. From the growing list of local businesses now connected with YETE , 21 out of the 73 are signed up in formal ‘youth friendly business partnerships’ such as the R2M.

Ms Whaanga says the high level of “social consciousness” among local employers is very encouraging.

“I think what it demonstrates is that a lot of businesses want to invest and give back to their own communities, while also recognising that they’ve got an ageing workforce and young people will be the ones coming through filling those gaps.”

The YETE Partnership comprises of representatives from secondary schools, tertiary educators, employers, community groups (particularly those working with youth), local authorities, iwi and central government agencies such as Ministry of Education, CareersNZ and Ministry for Social Development.

To find out more about the YETE Partnership, visit www.yete.nz or email Josie Whaanga at projectlead@yete.nz.

An initiative focused on helping young people become work-ready and gain employment is gaining traction among local businesses.

The Wairarapa Youth, Education, Training & Employment (YETE) Partnership aims to bridge the gap between school leavers, tertiary graduates and employment, equipping young people with skill-sets that are matched to the demands of the Wairarapa job economy and industry.

Key to it being successful are employers being prepared to give students a go.

Chair of YETE, former Makoura College Principal Tom Hullena, says there is a “big shift” in local businesses valuing the importance of supporting young people into work.

“One of the exciting things that is happening is that local employers are recognising that they have a role to play,” he says.

“They are essentially opening up their businesses and being prepared to commit time and energy into shaping young people develop what is necessary to be successful in the workplace.”

One organisation really embracing the initiative is Trust House, Mr Hullena says. A significant funder of YETE, Trust House has also this year supported six college students through the Rangatahi to Mahi or R2M (Youth to Work) Partnership. The year long programme consists of workshops, with 20-hours of voluntary work and 80-hours work experience.

“The whole purpose of this is to get people into the line of work that they wish to pursue. If they are successful in this there is a big chance that their employer will give them work.”

Three of the students have now been offered permanent work with Trust House.

They were among eleven students this year to graduate in the Youth Employability Programme – Licence to Work (L2W) run by YETE. An additional 18 Year-11 students are completing the programme over two years.

Although established three years ago, it has only been in the last 12-months that YETE has had adequate resourcing to action its initiatives. Combined funding of $117,000 from Trust House, Masterton Trust Lands Trust, Masterton District Council, Greytown Lands Trust, Nikau Foundation and Thomas McCarthy Trust last year kick-started activities.

Trust House is back on board for a second year with a grant of $50,000.

“Not only is Trust House putting their money where their mouth is, they are leaders in terms of our organisation as they were the first ones to sign up and take young people for work experience through the programme”, says YETE Project Lead Josie Whaanga.

Another star performer is Neer Enterprises Ltd, who have taken on three students this year with the view to increasing that in 2018, Ms Whaanga says.

Success attracts success and the programme is gaining plenty of attention among Wairarapa businesses wanting to be involved. From the growing list of local businesses now connected with YETE , 21 out of the 73 are signed up in formal ‘youth friendly business partnerships’ such as the R2M.

Ms Whaanga says the high level of “social consciousness” among local employers is very encouraging.

“I think what it demonstrates is that a lot of businesses want to invest and give back to their own communities, while also recognising that they’ve got an ageing workforce and young people will be the ones coming through filling those gaps.”

The YETE Partnership comprises of representatives from secondary schools, tertiary educators, employers, community groups (particularly those working with youth), local authorities, iwi and central government agencies such as Ministry of Education, CareersNZ and Ministry for Social Development.

To find out more about the YETE Partnership, visit www.yete.nz or email Josie Whaanga at projectlead@yete.nz.

It was a red letter day for the Wairarapa Youth Education, Training & Employment (YETE) Partnership at a recent graduation ceremony in Carterton. Pictured are Taliqua-Rose Allen-Rimene, Raysharn Chase, Cleveland Conaghan- Tapine, Tabitha Haglund, Chelsea Lewis, Alex Mendes da Costa, Zane O’Riley, Destiny Ranger, Nicki Wehi-Allen. Absent – Jacilla Carter and Jayden Viane.

Photo: Peter McNeur.

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