PGF backing Southland skills

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is supporting an initiative that will help Southlanders into local jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced in Invercargill today.

“I’m pleased to be in the great South today to announce PGF support of $1.5 million for Southland Youth Futures. This initiative is all about local employers, educators and industry leaders working together to get young people the right training for the jobs available in this region,” Shane Jones said.

“Southland Youth Futures is a career programme that exemplifies the purpose of Te Ara Mahi to give regions the capability to support local people to upskill, train and gain employment but also future proof economic growth for the region.

“The programme, run by Great South - Southland’s Regional Economic Development Agency, has been operating successfully since 2016. Over that time the region has seen a decreae in the numbers of young people not in education, employment and or training in Southland by a third.

“The PGF funding will mean they can continue operating and expand the programme to work with up to 6200 young people aged 14-20 years over the next three years.

“Engaging with young people early and educating them on the types of employment opportunities available in the Southland region allows them to choose the type of industry they wish to work in and align their school subjects and further training to their career choices.

“With the current shortage of employees predicted to increase, this programme is vital to make sure the region has access to skilled labour and means local people are more employable.

“This project will make a significant difference to the lives and futures of young people in Southland. I’m proud we are backing locally-led programmes which tackle challenges in this region head on, and support the priorities carved out by people in this community,” Shane Jones said.

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.

Te Ara Mahi (meaning ‘Pathways to Work’) is the PGF-funded skills and employment programme which assists local people into local jobs, with a strong focus on people not in employment, education or training.