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Mayors' win-win for rural youth and employers - 1,300 jobs found - LGNZ

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) is celebrating a successful year having placed over 1300 youth and Covid-displaced workers into sustainable employment in rural New Zealand as part of its Community Recovery Programme.

The programme, which is run in partnership with Ministry for Social Development (MSD) and New Zealand’s 23 rural councils, focuses on providing sustainable employment to young people under 25 years of age and those not already in education, employment or training. It also assists regional workers displaced by Covid-19.

The partnership was developed under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MTFJ and Central Government, which was signed in July at the LGNZ Conference on behalf of the Government by the Minister for Local Government, Nanaia Mahuta.

MTFJ Chair Mayor Max Baxter says the programme and partnership with MSD has been extremely successful.

"MTFJ’s Community Recovery Programme has helped 1336 people into employment, with 21 per cent of these jobs being apprenticeships."

"Central Government working with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs highlights that partnerships can make a real difference to the lives of young people by focussing on their needs at the local level," says the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Local Government.

"By working together, we can align and connect our resources to provide new employment opportunities for our rangatahi," said the Minister.

"MSD are proud to be associated with the Mayor’s Task Force for Jobs," Carmel Sepuloni said. "The MTFJ has proven itself year in, year out and continues to be one of the best schemes for getting young people into jobs across New Zealand.

"Mayors and councils can play a unique role in bringing together their local employers and developing place-based employment initiatives that provide a pathway for young people to get stuck into their employment journey locally"

"It’s equipped young people with the skills and confidence to find jobs in their home-town, all while supporting local employers along the way."

"What’s successful about this model is it’s community-owned, and each council involved in the partnership with MSD has a unique strategy in advancing employment opportunities for youth," she says.

Some councils have utilised mobile employment hubs to make finding job and training opportunities more accessible for youth or have set up their own cadetship, life-coach and "work readiness" programmes while working closely with iwi and community providers.

Mayor Baxter says that a lack of access to driver licencing in rural New Zealand remains a critical factor that is locking young people out of the labour market and remains a focus in MTFJ’s MOU with the Government.

The programme’s partnership with MSD is now into its second year and Mayor Baxter is expecting similar results throughout the country again, as the number of young people not in education, employment or training still sits at 10.8 per cent, for the June 2021 Quarter.

Alongside the 23 rural councils, several provincial councils in areas with high youth unemployment have joined the partnership. They include South Waikato District Council, South Taranaki District Council, Horowhenua District Council, Waitaki District Council and Gisborne District Council.

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