Stepping up support for young people in Whangarei

Rangatahi in Whangarei will get more support to transition into work following an announcement of Government funding, Minister of Employment Willie Jackson and Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones announced today.

 He Poutama Rangatahi will fund the Whangarei Youth Space’s START initiative, which will support young people through a 24-month intensive programme to transition them into work. The programme is underpinned by one-on-one mentoring and pastoral care by kaimahi/mentors who will equip rangatahi with the skills needed to be work-ready.

 “The Whangarei Youth Space START programme will receive $880,000 in funding over three years. We’re investing in this programme because we know that the extra support we provide to rangatahi now will generate benefits for the entire community in the long-term,” said Willie Jackson.

 “Empowering rangatahi to be actively involved in their community and society is one of the most important investments we can make. That’s why the Government is supporting initiatives like the START programme to get young people into jobs.

“A one size fits all approach does not work for all young people to get them on a path to employment. That’s why initiatives like the Whangarei Youth Space START programme are so important as they provide tailored support to prepare at-risk rangatahi for a better future and more prosperity.

“Projects like these are all part of the Government’s wider efforts to tackle youth unemployment in the regions,” Willie Jackson said.

He Poutama Rangatahi is a Government initiative that supports programmes which provides tailored support for rangatahi who are at-risk of long-term unemployment. In February 2019, the Provincial Growth Fund invested $13.2 million in funding for He Poutama Rangatahi.

“I’m glad the PGF could support such a worthy initiative. Our regions can thrive only when the people living in them have training and employment opportunities to help them get ahead, and these sorts of initiatives give regional businesses confidence that as they grow, there will be local people ready to take on the jobs they create,” Shane Jones said.