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Key player sought for youth transition initiative

16 November 2004

Key player sought for youth transition initiative

A key player is sought for the Council-Government initiative to assist marginalised youth in Waitakere City.

A tender is being run by Waitakere City council for the appointment of a lead agency to work with Work and Income to follow up on school leavers and engage with young people who are at risk of prolonged disengagement from work, education or training.

Tenders open next week (Wednesday 24 November) for applications to provide support and guidance for youth in transition.

A forum was held earlier this month for service providers to discuss ways of achieving better outcomes for Waitakere’s most marginalised young people.

At the forum, researcher Dr Anne Opie discussed the need for youth transition workers to be skilled in engaging young people so that they “start to build their own skills, rather than imposing knowledge on them.”

Dr Opie said it is crucial that workers “recognise the power imbalance between (them) and the person (they) are trying to help…it takes consistent effort to reach out and encourage them to move on and not focus on past disasters, to avoid dead end employment.”

Waitakere is one of the first five cities chosen as a Youth Transition City by the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs, a government scheme aiming to steer young people towards education and training.

The City’s supportive infrastructure and proven ability to deliver youth strategies are factors in Waitakere’s selection.

The government is establishing services in 14 communities across New Zealand over the next three years to follow up school leavers and engage with young people at risk of prolonged disengagement from work, education or training. Funding of $26.9m has been provided in the budget for individualised services which are likely to be contracted to existing community-based organisations to provide customised support and career planning, working with local employers, and training and education providers.

Mayor Bob Harvey, a core member of the Mayors’ Taskforce, will take a major leadership role in the Waitakere project.

“This is an absolutely fantastic project that comes with a large funding package. As a Youth Transition City, we will provide a forum for strategic planning and co-ordination of services for young people – not doubling up on existing youth projects. We’re a young city with 39 per cent of our population under 24 and one third of our population under 20,” he says.

“We will provide youth with customised support and guidance to ease them into appropriate work, education or training.

“Waitakere’s staff will identify and support development of labour markets, education and training opportunities for young people,” says Mayor Harvey.

Tenders will close on 15 December.

ENDS


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