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Gr8 Job Hauraki to continue after funding ‘nightmare’

Gr8 Job Hauraki has received $325,000 in government funding for the next year, after a “real battle” to keep the successful programme afloat.
The organisation, which has found work for nearly 250 Hauraki jobseekers since it began three years ago, has secured funding from the Ministry of Social Development’s Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs for the next two years.
Hauraki District Mayor Toby Adams last week told those at a function to celebrate employers involved with Gr8 Job Hauraki that the programme wasn’t funded by Hauraki ratepayers, and it had been a “real battle” to get government funding to continue.

“We as a council were not prepared to let that go. The funding has been a real nightmare, and we’ve lost some really key staff in our own office,” he said.
“This year, we were lucky to get that funding guaranteed for the next two years, which has been just absolutely fantastic.”
Paeroa, Ngatea, Waihī and the surrounding areas had “just been thriving lately with employment”, Mayor Adams said.
“It’s been a huge initiative, not only for Hauraki but around rural New Zealand, matching up good employees with good employers and having huge outcomes,” he said.
“We couldn’t be prouder of the amount of people that we’ve been able to place, and we’re even more proud of the people that have been willing to go that extra step and take on those workers, particularly when it comes to apprenticeships.”
Gr8 Job Hauraki employment liaison officer Julie Stephenson said retaining staff had been one of the challenges in the current funding model.

However, the organisation had reached and surpassed their target for the third consecutive year, placing 147 people in its priority group into jobs, plus supporting another 100 people outside the priority group into work.
“We have a priority age group, 16- to 24-year-olds, and support for those affected by Covid pandemic, those who are disadvantaged in the labour market and people with disabilities,” she said.
“For us it’s been a journey of connecting with the community, we’ve learnt a lot along the way and had some great wins, and we’ve had some challenges and lots of opportunities.
“Other highlights this year have been a career expo, job market, an aspiration day, we hosted the Re… Business School. We’ve just purchased a driving simulator for young people learning to drive.”