Kaikohe benefits from skills and employment boost

The Kaikohe community is set to benefit from the establishment of a wide-ranging skills and employment programme, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.

The Provincial Growth Fund will invest $3 million over three years in the Accelerating our Capability programme, which supports Kaikohe locals who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

“Kaikohe is a town which faces significant economic and social challenges, including a high rate of people who are not earning or learning. Initiatives like this one are the circuit breaker that families need to get out of the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and into long-term employment,” Shane Jones said.

“The unemployment rate in Northland has decreased from 7.1 percent to 5.1 percent in the last few months which is a great result. The Coalition Government is committed to continuing on this good path by supporting projects like the Accelerating our Capability programme to get even more people into training or work.

“The programme will consist of three initiatives in the areas of industry-based training, horticulture and viticulture. The industry-based training initiative will involve setting up a training centre to provide skills training to people based on the needs of industry and employers in the Kaikohe area.

“The horticulture initiative is an extension of the successful Mangatoa Station Forestry and Ecological Restoration project which was funded by our He Poutama Rangatahi programme previously. The additional funding will extend this youth programme so that it serves people of all ages.”

“The viticulture initiative will consist of a training programme based on a vineyard which will help prepare Kaikohe locals for skilled jobs in the industry.

The programme will continue for ten years, well beyond the three years of PGF funding as a result of co-contributions from other funders.

“We’re proud that the PGF has acted as a catalyst for this programme so that it can continue well into the future, for the benefit of the Kaikohe community,” Shane Jones said.

Employment Minister Willie Jackson said that the project is a welcome addition to the region.

“Up to 145 people and their families are likely to benefit from the project over the three year period of PGF support, which will improve employment outcomes across Kaikohe”

“This investment reflects our commitment to lift up the people in some of our most disadvantaged communities and get them onto a path to sustained employment. It builds on previous funding, and this new project is one which we’re proud to support,” Willie Jackson said.

The funding comes from the PGF Te Ara Mahi allocation dedicated to supporting projects that improve skills, employment and capability in the region.

Notes to editors:

Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.