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Investing in rangatahi to build the Bay of Plenty's future - Jones and Jackson

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The fast-growing Bay of Plenty region has been giving a helping hand to grow its skilled workforce.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson today announced the Government is investing $1.6 million in the region’s rangatahi from the He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) programme.

"He Poutama Rangatahi projects are a fundamental part of supporting thriving regions via the Provincial Growth Fund," Shane Jones says.

"It is equally important that young people have the opportunity to move onto the pathway to employment, particularly skilled employment, as soon as possible and that employers have access to people who can quickly make a contribution to their growing businesses.

"Putting good people together with businesses is an essential recipe for good regional economic development," Shane Jones says.

Tauranga based company TradeUp has secured funding for its Pathways to Trades programme, through HPR, which prepares and supports 16-24 years old rangatahi for placement into apprenticeships in trades-based industries across the Western Bay of Plenty, primarily in Rotorua and Tauranga.

"The Pathway to Trades scheme will provide rangatahi (including non-beneficiaries) with the help they need to start apprenticeships, and industry-based training in the construction, engineering and automotive industries," Willie Jackson says.

"Post-placement support for up to one year is also provided - this helps employers access labour to meet the region’s demands for growth.

"There’s a real need to future-proof the region with a skilled labour force, and the Pathway to Trades programme gives local established tradies funding to create work opportunities for rangatahi.

"This initiative creates opportunities for rangatahi to become qualified tradespeople - and that means work which could lead to jobs with high potential and ultimately, a transformative impact on the lives of rangatahi and their whānau.

The mentors from TradeUp make sure one-on-one support is available to help rangatahi navigate apprenticeships and address issues that may arise once their employment begins.

"While the programme’s main focus is on giving rangatahi a meaningful connection with employment, often for the first time, the positive spinoffs for the wider community include more resilient local economic and rangatahi with a strong sense of self-worth," Willie Jackson says.

The programme has the support of local employers, secondary schools across the Bay of Plenty and community groups.

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