He Poutama Rangatahi employment initiative gets big boost

Employment Minister Willie Jackson has welcomed additional funding to support more young people in regional New Zealand to gain sustained employment.

He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) will receive $13.2 million from the Provincial Growth Fund as part of a wider skills and employment initiative – Te Ara Mahi.

Willie Jackson joined Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones at Mangatoa Station near Kaikohe to make the announcement today.

“This boost to He Poutama Rangatahi reflects our Government’s commitment to reducing youth unemployment and helping those young people who need extra support on the way to employment. Getting more rangatahi into fulfilling and long-term work benefits us all,” Willie Jackson said.

“The number of young people who are not earning or learning has been falling nationally but we must continue to stay focused on changing the story for our rangatahi in the regions, especially in places where the rates of young Māori NEETs remains high.

“HPR aims to support communities and employers to develop pathways for rangatahi and take them through to sustained employment underpinned by intensive pastoral care. In January 2018, the Government announced $13.2 million in funding for pilot programmes in Te Tai Tokerau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay.

“The investment by the Provincial Growth Fund will help enable He Poutama Rangatahi to support even more young people who are not in employment, education or training. It will match these young people with real and enduring jobs which will help them reach their full potential.

“Nineteen HPR programmes are already underway, helping to get young people ready for work in sectors from forestry to hospitality. The additional funding is a welcome investment to meet the heavy demand that HPR has experienced.

“We’re committed to turning the tide on youth unemployment and empowering more rangatahi in the regions to find meaningful work,” Willie Jackson said.