Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has today (Wednesday 10th March) underlined the Government’s commitment to preparing rangatahi* for employment through further investment into He Poutama Rangatahi.
“Rural communities, local employers and at-risk rangatahi are all set to benefit from a NZ$2.96m investment into five employment and skills programmes working with 193 at-risk rangatahi and their whanau,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“He Poutama Rangatahi funding will enable the Employment Pathways Programme and the Manawa Ora Rangatahi Life Skills Programme to provide rangatahi with holistic pre-employment training. This will be underpinned by intensive pastoral care, which will support rangatahi to connect with their cultural identity through iwi, hapū and the wider community.
“In addition, this funding will benefit New Zealand’s economy by supporting training within industries such as conservation, forestry, construction and logistics.
“Funding for the Tupu-ā-nuku Environmental Workforce Development programme in Taranaki and the Whakatutuki Work Ready programme in Benneydale will help grow skilled local workforces in the conservation sector. This will help these regions make the most of economic development opportunities created by Government initiatives such as Jobs For Nature, the Provincial Development Unit and the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
“New Zealand’s construction sector will benefit through the Whakapiki Te Kaha Ma Te Kainga Ora programme in Manawatū-Horowhenua. This hands-on course provides an alternative route to qualifications for local rangatahi who may have struggled with traditional theory-based learning.
“He Poutama Rangatahi has supported 59 programmes with nearly $50m of funding to date, with a specific focus on young people who are most at-risk of long-term unemployment and those who are not in education, employment or training.
“Of the 5,130 young people enrolled in He Poutama Rangatahi programmes to date, many face multiple barriers to employment. Before enrolling, 37% had no driver’s license, 43% were receiving a benefit, 29% had no previous qualifications, 9% had criminal convictions and 8% were caregivers.
“This announcement sits alongside an earlier $2.65m funding boost to three work readiness programme providers.
“He Poutama Rangatahi has helped more than 2,000 rangatahi into employment, education or training to date. Together with programmes like Mana in Mahi, the Government is committed to helping people overcome barriers to employment, and creating more opportunities for them to get into sustainable employment, education or training,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
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*(in Maori culture) young people; the younger generation.