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The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Rural Community Resilience Programme aims to get young people into work. PHOTO: PIXABAY

Mayor, iwi to tackle youth employment

Thames-Coromandel District Council will partner with Ngāti Maru to pilot a grassroots employment programme aimed at getting local rangatahi [young people] into sustainable work.

It’s part of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Rural Community Resilience Programme which began as a pilot two years ago.

Rural mayors partnered with the Ministry of Social Development during the national response to Covid-19 as part of the pilot. Its subsequent success placing young people in employment, education or training into work, saw funding of $14 million secured for the 2022-23 financial year.

“That’s allowed the taskforce to place over 3,000 young people into sustainable employment in just over two years,” MTFJ Chair and Mayor of Ōtorohanga Max Baxter said.

“Thames-Coromandel secured funding of $108,000 this year to kick off their employment programme.

“Young people living in rural communities face more challenges entering the workforce, including a smaller pool of employers, a lack of driver’s licence testing facilities, and a shortage of the right training opportunities. The programme is about local people coming together to find local solutions to these issues.”

Thames-Coromandel Mayor Len Salt said: “this sort of programme could be a game-changer for young people who just need that extra little bit of support to get them into fulfilling work.

“Helping rangatahi get their driver’s licence or supplying them with the right tools and kit to start an apprenticeship can make a world of difference to their job prospects.

“Our council will roll out this programme under the leadership of Ngāti Maru, who know our rangatahi and their needs already.”