Employment help for Te Tai Tokerau youth

Te Tai Tokerau youth are being helped into employment or training with a new partnership investment of $4.4 million, Minister of Employment Willie Jackson has announced.

Funding for three initiatives will come from He Poutama Rangatahi, which develops pathways into employment, education or training for young people under 24 years old.

“We have a big problem in Northland with so many young people out of work and dropping out of society, but with initiatives like this, the region is changing its story,” said Willie Jackson.

“The latest figures from Statistics NZ show that unemployment in Northland has declined to 5.8 percent in March 2018, from 8 percent in March 2017. The numbers of those not in employment, education or training (NEETs) is also falling, but there’s more work to do.

“The He Poutama Taitamariki work readiness programme will receive $2.5 million to reach 15-17 year olds across the region and to provide extra support for young people to overcome barriers to employment.

“He Poutama Taitamariki is based on the Taitamariki 500 (T500) programme that has been rolled out in the north over the last 17 months to help young people receiving a benefit get into employment, education or training.

“T500 has had a significant positive impact in Te Tai Tokerau, and has been embraced by the communities it is operating in, so expanding on this is a natural step. The new funding will help us to help those not receiving a benefit and will also help provide more health and social support to address some of the more complex needs of the youth.

“The Government will also contribute $959,800 to the Mangatoa Station Forestry and Ecological Restoration Project in Kaikohe, and $983,400 to Tupu Ake, an initiative of Forest Protection Services in Whangarei.

“These projects will support young NEETs to get the qualifications, work experience and support they need for careers in the forestry and primary sector and improve living standards for whānau and communities in the north,” Willie Jackson said.