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Full-time Job Offers Arise From Jobs For Heretaunga Initiative

The Jobs for Heretaunga workers were presented with certificates by Topline Contracting to acknowledge the progress they had made on the job.

Ten people who got jobs with Topline Contracting earlier this year, supported by the Government’s shovel-ready project funding, have been offered full-time work with the Hastings company.

In August this year, Hastings District Council received $9.37m Provincial Growth Fund funding to progress a number of roading projects in the district, which included road safety, footpaths and lighting, and iWay walking and cycling improvements.

A key component of the funding was the commitment by both government and council to address rising unemployment numbers due to the COVID-19 crisis.

As such, council partnered with MSD to create local employment opportunities for people who had been displaced, either temporarily or permanently, due to their place of employment being impacted by COVID-19 and/or the Government’s response to it.

By the end of this year 45 people had been engaged through this “Jobs for Heretaunga” initiative, including the 10 at Hastings-based Topline Contracting, who have been mainly working on footpath improvements in the Waipatu area, and last week were presented with certificates to acknowledge the progress they had made on the job.

Company director Taurus Taurima said they had gone from doing small concrete pouring jobs to now being able to work alongside the commercial pour teams.

“From the start we have taken a practical approach with them so they have learnt on the job – they have done the long hours and been really reliable.”

Like with other workers they employed, Mr Taurima said they were supported to gain their full driver’s licence if they didn’t have one already and the goal was to help them gain a Level 3 civil infrastructure qualification to help them further their careers.

As part of Jobs for Heretaunga, Hastings District Council’ employment team, in conjunction with MSD, help identify workers, and provide pastoral care to support their wellbeing, as well as that of their whānau, and the employers, along with career plan development and links to training opportunities aimed at securing long-term, sustainable employment.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the COVID-19 lockdown and ongoing response had been challenging, and it was heartening to see some positive outcomes.

“The support of the government and small businesses such as Topline Contracting is helping keep people in jobs, and further their careers, at the same time as making safety improvements to the extensive roading network in Hastings district.”

Other contractors who are part of the initiative are: Higgins (and subcontractors), Downer NZ, Fulton Hogan, Russell Rds, Dodge Contracting, ACL Civil, Proseal, and McNatty Construction Ltd.

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