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Mayor launches plan to boost youth employment

Mayor launches plan to boost youth employment

Mayor Len Brown today launched a plan to increase youth employment in Auckland at a summit attended by Auckland’s key business leaders, young people and government agencies.

The ‘Mayor’s Youth Employment Traction Plan’ includes a new office to coordinate youth employment initiatives across the region, a pledge to boost numbers in Auckland Council’s graduate and cadet programmes by more than 50 per cent, and regular summits to bring together young people, business leaders and youth organisations.

Speaking at the Vodafone hosted event, Len Brown called on Auckland businesses to back the initiative by working with in partnership with Auckland Council:

“More than 27,000 young Aucklanders are currently not in education, employment or training, and more than half of this group are Maori and Pacific. We simply can’t afford so to have so many of our young people at risk of a lifetime of unemployment, particularly at a time when our region is experiencing strong economic growth.

“We need urgent leadership from council, business and government to turn this around. This initiative will enable us to back more of our young people to succeed, by helping them to find practical and supportive pathways to training, jobs or further education”

As part of the initiative, Sir Stephen Tindall announced funding of $1.85m over three years to continue support for the council’s Youth Connections Across Auckland programme, which matches young people and local employment and training opportunities.

“We are delighted to be further supporting Youth Connections because we can see it really works,” Sir Stephen said. “It’s fantastic that more than 500 young people are now employed thanks to this programme. We are investing in the future of Auckland’s young people and in the social and economic development of the region.”

Sir Stephen also said that from his many years in business he knows how important young people are to the workforce: “In an ever-increasing technological world, tech-savvy and productive young people are a real asset to any business. The current workforce is aging and employers need to think about how they will replace their retiring workers. We have a large pool of talented young people and for our future business success we as employers need to be capturing and nurturing that talent.”

The Mayoral Youth Employment Traction Plan includes:

· A coordinating Hub, based at Auckland Council and Auckland Tourism, Event and Economic Development (ATEED’s) downtown office, bringing together council and external agencies to work with businesses on youth employment
· A pledge to boost numbers in the council’s Career Pathways graduate and cadet programmes in 2015 (17 graduates in 2014 to 50 in 2015 and 10 cadets in 2014 to 20 in 2015)
· Tindall Foundation announces $1.85m over three years to continue supporting Youth Connections Across Auckland, which matches young people and local employment and training opportunities
· Regular summits to focus on specific issues, bringing together young people, business leaders and organisations which work with youth employment, to design joint solutions

Youth Connections is based on the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs ‘youth to work’ strategy, working with young Aucklanders to ensure they have a plan and direction for their future that connects to the workforce requirements of local businesses.

A regional initiative, it is driven at a local level by local board and other champions. The Mayor’s Youth Employment Traction Plan taps into and builds on the work already done by Youth Connections.

The summit, the first of several planned, was hosted by Vodafone. Vodafone’s General Manager of Human Resources, Jan Bibby, shared the company’s experience with Youth Connections and insights into its youth employment approach. She said the apprentices were a high performing and innovative group of employees who deliver great results:
“Many of them may well be the future leaders of our business.”


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