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Oho Mauri Youth Work Ready Programme Launch

Yesterday marked the launch of Oho Mauri, a ten day work ready programme designed to support all youth to awaken their potential and reach their future possibilities and career aspirations.

To celebrate the release of this programme, in attendance included: Māori Development Minister, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Board and Management representation from Waikato-Tainui (key sponsor), Mayor Allan Sanson (Waikato District Council), Inspector Andrew Mortimore (Waikato West Area Commander), Paula Rawiri (MInistry of Education), local businesses and Waikato school principals, philanthropists, and members of the local marae community.

Directors and Co-Creators Leah Crawford and Lizana Tuake says we know fewer young people in our communities are leaving school with the necessary skills and experience to confidently enter the employment market and transition comfortably into further education or training.

Nationally we have an ageing population, a declining birth rate and a deepening skills shortage. Currently in Aotearoa there are 74,000 NEET’s and 10,500 are based in the Waikato region. This problem presents an opportunity to work with our youth to address the demand for labour caused by our ageing population.

“We want our youth to succeed, awaken their potential within and realise their purpose. We want them to know their cultural identity, their place of belonging whilst building their attitude to give back to their whānau, community and Aotearoa, hence the naming of our programme - Oho Mauri. The future is about their lives and that’s what matters,” says Ms Tuake.

“The reality for some of our young people is that difficult life and family circumstances, poor choices, or addiction to drugs and alcohol can put them out of step and in the wrong direction, where poor lifestyle choices are made. As a result, feel negative self worth and are more likely to be disengaged, unemployed, involved in crime and have poor health outcomes,” says Ms Crawford.

Oho Mauri is a unique programme where local businesses, training providers and schools work together and collaborate to deliver a meaningful and impactful programme that will set youth up for long term success. This approach aims to prepare them for employment, further education such as university, or polytech, or apprenticeships.

Providing them with a toolkit and confidence to make informed decisions about the next steps for them will be life-changing. Our passion is to see our youth in our communities to go on and create a purposeful future for themselves.

“In partnership with the Oho Mauri programme, Waikato-Tainui looks to strengthen the pipeline from secondary school to meaningful pathways for all our rangatahi. Working in partnership with Oho Mauri we look to collectively prepare our rangatahi holistically with both skills and experience to leave school with the confidence to go on with the next step in their lives, whether it be a job, training or further education. Supporting the Oho Mauri Programme aligns and delivers to our strategic goals,” says Ms Mahara (GM, Education and Pathways).

Oho Mauri is delivered through the strong collaboration of six credible providers who are experts in their own field. The six key elements of Oho Mauri includes: Health and Safety, Hazard ID and Drug & Alcohol Awareness, Driver Licensing, Cultural Identity, Strength Character Building, Work Readiness and Soft Skills, and Financial Awareness.

The Programme will be delivered to 200 plus youth at 5 schools across the Waikato Region one day a week over 10-weeks (school term periods), kicking off today at Ngaruawahia High School.

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