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Government and Mayors commit to partnership

Government and Mayors commit to partnership to jobs and training for young people

Jobs and training in the regions is the major benefit from today's signing of a Memorandum of Understanding strengthening the partnership between the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs and the Government.

The commitment to having all school leavers in employment and training was a policy of both Labour and the Progressives at the election and this partnership will go a long way towards making these promises a reality.

Twenty-seven mayors came to Wellington today to meet with Prime Minister Helen Clark and other Ministers and talk about the long-term trends for work and income in their communities.

Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey and Local Government Minister Chris Carter signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the mayors which includes a commitment to a shared goal that, "by 2007, all 15-19 year olds will be engaged in appropriate education, training, work, or other options which will lead to long term economic independence and well-being".

Jim Anderton welcomed the Mayors commitment to regional employment, "This Government and the 50 mayors who are members of the Taskforce share a strong desire to see more employment and business opportunities in our regions, particularly for our school leavers. The projects being supported through this partnership will have a significant benefit for regions and industries up and down New Zealand," Jim Anderton said.

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said one of the key projects which is supporting many others is a joint pilot project with Career Services and Skill New Zealand which is helping Government to improve understanding of the school to work transition.

"The Mayor's projects are excellent examples of a practical approach to local employment creation. Some are assisting employers to overcome labour shortages and others are promoting apprenticeships and on the job training," Steve Maharey said.

Local Government Minister Chris Carter said the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding is a concrete example of the strength of the relationship between central and local government.

"By working together in partnership central and local government can make a real difference to the communities we serve. The Memorandum of Understanding sits well alongside other initiatives such as the Central Government/Local Government Forum, chaired by the Prime Minister, and recognises that getting people into sustainable work is a key step in building strong, safe and prosperous communities," Chris Carter said.

National initiatives

Destinations and Tracking Project
A joint pilot project with Career Services and Skill New Zealand was undertaken to improve understanding of the school to work transition. The methodology involved an initial survey of school leavers, prior to them leaving school, in order to identify their aspirations and intentions and a second survey, early in the following year, in order to identify their actual destinations, modelled on the UK Activity Survey. The Taskforce will be providing an analysis of the findings from a regional development perspective on youth employment by 30 August.

Youth employment project with the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD)
The partnership project with the NZBCSD was formally launched in February 2002. The project fosters the important role that NZ businesses can take in ensuring employment and training opportunities for all young New Zealanders. An industry guide on how businesses can help stimulate youth employment is being produced and all member companies will be encouraged to commit to and report against local employment and training targets. A number of companies have already initiated new projects, two of which were showcased at the recent Local Government New Zealand conference. TMP.worldwide has been appointed to coordinate project-related research into the state of youth employment in NZ and to promote the business case for youth employment initiatives.

Employment Catalyst Fund
The Taskforce and the Jobs Research Trust administer Tindall Foundation funding ($500,000) through the Employment Catalyst Fund for Mayor's projects at the local level. Funding is being allocated to projects focusing on the youth goal, which catalyse job creation for young people and have long term strategies for local social, economic and environmental sustainability. Up to $50,000 is available per year (with potential for 3 year funding) with the requirement of matching funds. To encourage private philanthropy, funds can be matched 2-1 if raised from individuals. The projects are assessed, approved and monitored by the Jobs Research Trust and the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.

The Jobs Research Trust partnership also runs a website and provides papers on youth employment issues.

Local initiatives run by the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

Local initiatives usually come under the auspices of the Employment Catalyst Fund or partnership funding from the Work and Income section of the Ministry of Social Development. A selection of projects from each of these is outlined below.

Te Araroa Trust
The project will see the formation and development of an "Ocean to Ocean Trail" from Ahipara to Kerikeri in Northland. It will create employment both in the building of the trail and in servicing the tourism facilities engendered by the trail. Currently five young men are employed in the construction. Plans for the training of guides and provision of rest and recreation facilities are in hand. The Mayor of the Far North, Yvonne Sharp sponsors the project.

Taranaki Employment Foundation Trust
The project "Youthworks" will provide 40 full time paid jobs in the not-for-profit sector for currently unemployed young people. The project will also make an important contribution to the well being of the local community. To date 23 young people have been placed. The outgoing Mayor of New Plymouth, Claire Stewart initiated the project and it is now sponsored by the current Mayor, Peter Tennent.

Employment Scholarship Trust
The Trust is based in Christchurch but also operates in Wellington, Nelson and Tauranga. The extension of this project to the regions was facilitated through Work and Income and the Taskforce. The project will place school leavers in paid "on-the-job" training positions within an office environment. The vision is "to provide a new model of employment brokerage providing school leavers with a supported pathway in the vital one year transition from school to work." To date the Trust has placed 52 school leavers. The scheme is based on the successful project piloted in Christchurch by Simon Mortlock (Law Firm) and is sponsored by the Mayor of Christchurch, Garry Moore.

Malcam Charitable Trust
The 4 TRADES project in Dunedin is a "modern apprenticeship scheme - responding to the present need for more skilled labour in the trades sector". The trust will work initially with Work and Income and PS Training Company Ltd (with NZQA accreditation and an established track record) to provide young people with the necessary training and support. The project is modeled on the 4 HIRE programme which the trust has launched successfully in partnership with DWI, Corrections and PARS. The project will find 40 new apprenticeships for young people. Currently 4 young people have been placed into this apprenticeship scheme. The project is sponsored by the Mayor of Dunedin, Sukhi Turner.

Career Start Initiative - New Plymouth/Wanganui
This is a joint initiative between Work and Income and Councils and will see 40 young people employed as cadets in a range of occupations.

Youth Strategy – Canterbury
As part of a Mayors Taskforce initiative, Work and Income is currently involved with the Canterbury Development Corporation, the economic and development arm of the Christchurch City Council, on the Youth Strategy.

Borland Lodge Project - Southland District Council
12 day live in course for youth based around outdoor activities. Aimed to build self esteem and have 60% of participants move into further training or employment. Course ran in July 2002 had 10 participants aged 16 - 26. All gained first aid certificates and credits towards the NCEA in outdoor activities. 80% have moved into further training or work. Another course is planned for January 2003.

Job Packaging - Central Otago
The Central Otago Employment Trust and Work and Income is aiming to create 20 full time jobs by packaging together part-time employment opportunities in the region such as fruit picking and seasonal tourist work. The Trust is targeting sustainable employment and is taking a holistic approach towards offering a lifestyle that can attract people to the area. This includes consideration of things like housing, transport, and schools.

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