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New Naenae work hub for out-of-towners wanting jobs

A programme that staircases unemployed into entry-level construction industry jobs, will launch its Wellington hub in a former Naenae resthome on Monday (April 29).

The Minister of Social Development, Hon Carmel Sepuloni will formally open the re-purposed hospital wing that will enable Kiwi Can Do to draw trainees from throughout southern areas of the North Island for placement into employment, followed-up with in-work support for 12 months.

Kiwi Can Do has been developed over the last five years in tandem with the Industry Partnership team at the Ministry of Social Development. It is supported by construction industry trade association memberships including Masterpainters NZ and the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries (AWCI).

The Wellington hub will complement a 40-bed lodge in West Auckland which draws trainees from Whakatane and south Waikato to Kaitaia in the Far North to help meet the unprecedented demand for workers in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.

No pens, pencils or classrooms, Kiwi Can Do employs “old school” tradesmen as the tutors/mentors to provide hands-on training. The programme is getting the thumbs up from unemployed wanting an entry-level job and needing help to make the first rung of the employment ladder.

Drug tested, Site Safe qualified, driving licence upgraded, safety gear provided, the programme strips away barriers for the unemployed. The three-week programme aims to build confidence and get beneficiaries work-ready… to turn up on time every day, put in an honest day’s work and become part of a team.

A positive attitude and a genuine desire to get a job are the key elements Kiwi Can Do recruiters look for when selecting for the courses.

The trainees are being welcomed by big and small construction companies in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga and now Wellington. In the golden triangle of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga the demand for labour is insatiable and unprecedented. Many of the recruits come from places such as Kaikohe, Kawerau or Katikati where full-time work opportunities are limited and therefore career choices and options are reduced.

The tutors, affectionately dubbed “Dad’s Army” are a small but growing paid workforce of actively retired tradesmen, who are finding their second wind and relishing the opportunity to pass on their life-time skills to the next generation.

Kiwi Can Do says there is an enormous amount of talent on the unemployment benefit, who are ready and willing to work, especially in areas where employment opportunities are limited.


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