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Council cadets graduate into permanent employment – Tauranga City Council

Three young people are bringing newfound skills and confidence to permanent employment opportunities after recently graduating from Tauranga City Council’s cadetship programme.

Connor Hill, James Bassett-Gittings, and Dannielle Teaupaku joined the Piki Ake cadetship programme in October 2022, working in Council’s Libraries, Customer Services, and Takawaenga Māori Unit.

The 12-month programme provides unemployed young people the opportunity to gain valuable experience in entry level roles at Council on a fixed term basis.

In those 12 months, Connor, James, and Dannielle have gone from strength to strength, not only growing in confidence and capabilities, but leaving a lasting impact and learnings with Council.

At the graduation event, cadets were joined by whānau, friends, and their host teams to celebrate their achievements and reflect on the year.

Comments from host team representatives expressed pride and admiration, noting that cadets “stepped into opportunities even when unsure”, and “showed up consistently, demonstrated courage, and embraced their unique selves within the workplace.”

The pride and gratitude expressed by whānau was equally humbling. Connor’s father praised the programme for its impact, sharing “Connor was the seed, and you were the soil. You nurtured him and made him grow. I think this programme is brilliant – I went through a lot of programmes when I was younger, but I wish they were like this, because you can learn so much with so much opportunity.”

The cadets also had many words of appreciation. James, who has gained a permanent position with Tauranga City Council’s Contact Centre, shared “It’s been an incredible opportunity. I never would have seen myself here a year ago but here I am, and who knows what’s next.”

Marlene Herewini, Employment Pathways Lead at Tauranga City Council, supported the cadets from their transition into the cadet programme, to graduation, and into permanent work. She says she is immensely proud of each cadet.

“Connor, James, and Dannielle have made an impact on the council in their own unique ways. They remind us that listening and learning is a two-way street, and we build each other up from working together. Each of them will transition into permanent work opportunities with a humble confidence and positive mindset to achieve their own career aspirations, and we look forward to seeing their journeys continue.”

The next intake for the Piki Ake cadetship programme will commence in March 2024 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

Tauranga City Council encourages other young people of Tauranga Moana looking to follow in the footsteps of Connor, James, and Dannielle to talk to their local MSD office for more information.

To learn more about the Piki Ake cadetship programme, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/pikiake.


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