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Kaikohe youth take next step into careers

Kaikohe youth take next step into careers

Today 30 young people from Kaikohe graduated from the first stage of the Growing Regional Opportunities through Work (GROW) programme – an initiative stemmed from the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan.

“21% of Kaikohe youth are not in employment, education or training. GROW is about starting to shift that 21% into employment in growing industries in Northland,” says Ben Dalton the Senior Regional Officer leading the Government’s involvement in delivering the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan.

GROW is a 12 month programme which kicks off with a four-week pre-employment programme (referred to as KODE – Kaikohe Opportunities, Dreams and Experiences) focused on transitioning the participants into their career pathways.

It focuses on supporting 16-24 year olds not in employment, education or training into growth industries by creating stronger linkages between employers and young people.

“It’s fantastic to see that already after four weeks, 10 young people already have training placements and the remaining participants are working through the interview processes with local employers,” says Mr Dalton.

GROW is focused on just that – growing opportunities. Young and eager workers are guided into careers in the growing industries which provides many positive flow-on effects for individuals and communities.

“It was great to see that the graduation was well attended by whānau, local businesses and training providers. The highlight was the speed interviews for employers to meet the graduates.”

“Working with employers is a crucial part of the GROW programme so the student’s pathways can be aligned with opportunities in the region.”

The participants of GROW will be supported over the next 12 months by a Programme Coordinator who will help them work through their individual pathway plans.

While working alongside young people, the project aims to strengthen local business by linking them to essential business development and compliance guidance. It also provides infrastructure and governance knowledge, advice and support.

“GROW is included in the Action Plan because increasing the skills and capability of Northland people is crucial for achieving economic growth. As businesses grow in the North, we need local workers ready and able for employment,” says Mr Dalton.

GROW is being implemented through partnership with employers, Northland Inc., the Kaikohe Social Sector Trial and Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi and will be supported by Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry for Social Development, Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry for Education, Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education Commission.


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