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Whangarei Fast Track Job Match Trial a Success

Media Release

28 October, 2014

Whangarei Fast Track Job Match Trial a Success

With the clock ticking, Whangarei employers and job seekers last week (subs: Thursday 23 October) set job interview records at the Fast Track Job Match pilot event held at Toll Stadium.

Whangarei Mayor, Sheryl Mai says this exciting collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Whangarei District Council (WDC), supported by the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, is a first for Whangarei and New Zealand.

“It aims at providing local job seekers and businesses with a quick and easy way to match aptitudes and skill sets with job vacancies in a ‘speed dating’ format,” Mayor Mai said.

“It came about after Councillor Cherry Hermon saw Clutha Mayor, Bryan Cadogan, talking about a similar exercise in his district on national television, and suggested Whangarei could conduct its own version.

“I am thrilled with the partnership with MSD that has developed from that idea.”

MSD’s Northland Regional Commissioner, Eru Lyndon, said that teaming with Council and local businesses for Fast Track Job Match was about a community-wide investment.

“The Ministry of Social Development is the largest government department in New Zealand serving thousands of Whangarei families,” Mr Lyndon said.

“Work and Income is the department’s largest service line with a focus on finding people jobs, and we are willing to do things a bit differently to achieve this.

“Fast Track Job Match is the beginning of a new approach to this process and a great example of how powerful we become when we partner with the community and other organisations.

“We look forward to supporting the business people and job seekers who participated in this exciting trial event.”

Thirteen local employers and 72 MSD job seekers took part in the Fast Track Job Match trial.

“Employers were briefed on their part in the exercise, and job seekers underwent preparatory workshops to ensure they were ready for both the event and the job they might secure as a result,” Mr Lyndon said.

“Consequently, everyone performed remarkably well in a pressured situation,” Mr Lyndon said.

Job seekers rotated around employers with one minute to sell themselves as candidates for available jobs, and the vast majority found the exercise helpful and enjoyable.

“Most said they would recommend Fast Track Job Match to others in need of employment as a way to showcase themselves to business managers and explore job opportunities in Whangarei,” Mr Lyndon said.

Councillor Hermon added that feedback from employers was also encouraging.

“Many commented on the enthusiasm of the job candidates and the exciting opportunity Fast Track Job Match presented to reach a large number of potential employees in a relaxed and efficient format,” Cr Hermon said.

“Employers were able to take the details of job seekers in whom they were interested, and MSD work brokers will follow up by arranging one-on-one interviews.”

The trial run proved a useful way to identify areas for improvement in future Fast Track Job Matches.

“We’ll refine our processes to make future Fast Track Job Matches an even more effective way to get our unemployed into jobs and for businesses to secure the workers they need,” Cr Hermon said.

Mayor Mai is also keen to repeat the exercise.

“We’re onto a winner and I’m confident Fast Track Job Match will put many more people into productive paid employment,” Mayor Mai said.

Mr Lyndon agreed the Fast Track Job Match trial showed the potential for this kind of job interview format to work well in Whangarei.

“With local employers and job seekers already showing they are motivated and willing to participate, these events could be rolled out regularly,” Mr Lyndon said.

“The net could be thrown wider to include non-MSD clients, youth and school leavers wanting work, or to target seasonal employers and specific industries.

“It cannot fail to bring benefits for Whangarei businesses, work-seekers and the wider community in the long term.”

ENDS


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