$14.7m for jobs training and education

  • Hon Shane Jones
  • Hon Willie Jackson
Employment Regional Economic Development

The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced.

“New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by the regions and they need a well-trained workforce and sustainable employment opportunities to get their economies moving,” Shane Jones said.

“The challenge is one we were already addressing but it has been scaled up in response to the impact of COVID-19. This Government has put in place a wide range of measures to support regional recovery and secure Kiwi jobs. We need to ensure those who need help into skilled work receive it.

“That’s why we are providing $14.79 million for organisations in some of our most vulnerable communities to provide a diverse range of educations, skills training, pre-employment and job pathway projects,” Shane Jones said.

The funding package consists of $11.62m from Te Ara Mahi (TAM), the Provincial Growth Fund’s employment, skills and capability fund, and $3.17m from He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s youth training and employment pathway fund.

 "He Poutama Rangatahi supports community based projects that seek to help young people facing multiple barriers to employment,” Willie Jackson said.

“By investing in skills and training for our young people, we can break down some of those barriers and support our rangatahi to succeed in a challenging environment.

“This will be crucial for towns such as Rotorua and Kaikoura, where the effects of COVID-19 will be particularly difficult due to loss of income from international tourism.” Willie Jackson said.

The funding covers projects in Canterbury, Manawatū-Whanganui, Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Te Tai Tokerau.


Bros For Change, a unique employment pathway for rangatahi at risk of long-term unemployment in Kaikoura, will receive $510,000 from HPR for a 20-week leadership wānanga and wrap-around pastoral care programme for 36 local young people.

The South Canterbury Transport and Logistics Panel will receive $600,000 from TAM for the continued delivery and expansion of an existing commercial road transport training initiative in which 60 people will be trained and supported into sustainable local employment.


Pathways Horowhenua will receive $806,277 of TAM funding to support work-readiness and employment placement programmes, allowing young people and other job-seekers to gain exposure to different industries and sectors so they can make informed career choices.

The Rūapehu Whānau Transformation project will receive $960,000 from TAM to expand its iwi-owned recruitment service, and to provide digital training programmes and industry-specific training and employment advice.

Talent Central will scale up its Work Ready Portfolio programme to include sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and health. It will receive $1.78m from TAM for 130 participants to complete an accreditation programme and helped into employment within the first year.

Hawke’s Bay

Te Ara Matihiko – Digital Pathway will receive $454,400 from HPR to deliver a three-month digital training programme for 54 young people, focused on topics such as videography and social media marketing skills.

Te Oranga Pūmanawa will receive $554,486 of HPR funding to deliver industry-specific training for 120 young people in sectors such as health and fitness, traffic management and security using a kaupapa Māori approach.

Bay of Plenty

Rotorua Community Youth Trust will receive $947,330 from HPR for a programme that connects 100 young people with local employers, following a successful pilot last financial year that helped 25 young people into employment.

Māori-led organisation Rotomā No.1 will receive $396,000 of funding from HPR to support 50 young people to gain employment skills and begin a career pathway, and 10 forestry workers to upskill and become mentors.

Kawerau Pathways to Work will use $58,923 of HPR funding to connect and extend existing local projects, creating a co-ordinated backbone of employment pathways in the region and helping up to 170 Kawerau locals into jobs.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa Trust will receive TAM funding of $2.29m to establish the Manawa Tu – Work for Life Centre in Murupara, where local people will be able to access pre-employment training and employment services to help address high unemployment in the area.

The Blue Light Youth Driver Navigator Programme will receive $3 million from TAM to support 2000 at-risk young people to gain their full driver’s licence, giving targeted support for those with different learning abilities and limited access to practice vehicles, licensing fees, and driving instructors.


The Waikato Oho Mauri project will receive $250,000 of HPR funding to engage 325 at-risk teenagers in a work readiness programme.

Te Tai Tokerau

The Developers Institute will establish a training and employment pathway for IT graduates to gain a Diploma in Web Development and Design, using TAM funding of $670,000 to engage 85 participants within two years.

The Whangarei A&P Society Farm Internship Programme will receive $1.4m of TAM funding to establish a four-year training and internship programme for locals most at risk of long-term unemployment, providing job-ready interns to the local agricultural industry.

Auckland University of Technology, working with Northland Inc., will help equip 28 aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and tools needed to develop sustainable and thriving businesses through a TAM investment of $83,300.