$1.7 million investment for Hawke's Bay rangatahi

Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced $1.7 million over two years for four He Poutama Rangatahi initiatives in the Hawke’s Bay today.

“The programmes will support over 500 rangatahi aged 15 to 24, their communities and Local employers, to develop pathways into employment, education or training for Hawke’s Bay rangatahi at most risk of long-term unemployment,” said Willie Jackson.

“These are the first tranche of He Poutama Rangatahi-funded initiatives for Hawke’s Bay, with more expected over the coming months.

“This is not a case of simply matching unemployed youth to available jobs. Ensuring the necessary level of pastoral care to support our rangatahi and their whānau, on what is often a long road leading to employment, is critical.

“Employers also need support above what they can provide directly themselves to take young people into jobs. He Poutama Rangatahi seeks to provide that support to employers and take a chance on investing in young people.

“We know that our rangatahi face a range of complex issues impacting confidence and ability which can act as a barrier to employment. Overcoming each challenge, whether that’s growing self-confidence, gaining a driver’s license or completing a course is a significant achievement that we should all recognise and be proud of.

Hastings District Council will receive $460,000 to build on their successful Connector Model programme, which employs specialists to build relationships with employers, local youth and whanau.

The government will also contribute $258,000 to Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga’s Takatū Youth Mentoring Programme to enable 140 rangatahi to gain driving qualifications. Hikoi4Life Trust and Les Hokianga’s award winning WorkFit programme, will receive $765,000 to scale up existing support to get young people physically and mentally fit for work and just over $194,000 will enable the Development Hub to provide a work readiness programme to support 36 young Māori and Pasifika women (including) mothers.

“I am delighted to be here today, and proud to see how this community has come together to support their young people,” said Willie Jackson.

“A young person in employment is not only critical for the future prosperity of Aotearoa, but is a positive role model for their whānau and to the tamariki that follow in their footsteps. Ensuring our rangatahi are supported into sustained employment strengthens our communities, improves living standards and reduces child poverty,” said Willie Jackson.