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Skills And Wellbeing Pilot Programme Gets PGF Funding To Help Youth

A two-year pilot programme with a strong focus on Ōtaki rangatahi aged between 15-24 has received $995,000 from the He Poutama Rangatahi initiative, a fund managed by the Provincial Development Unit.

Minister Sepuloni announced the Council-led Te Hunga Rangatahi pilot programme will receive the funding to support youth who are most at risk of long-term unemployment and who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), including those transitioning from school that are needing extra support.

The pilot programme will be based in Ōtaki and launched in February 2021, led by the Kāpiti Coast District Council in partnership with Work Ready Kāpiti, Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki and Ministry of Social Development.

Growing skills and capability is one of the five strategic pillars of the Economic Development Strategy and Implementation Plan 2020-23, with a strong focus on pathways for our rangatahi/young people.

Councillor Angela Buswell, business and jobs portfolio holder, says Work Ready Kāpiti will be contracted to manage the delivery of the programme with partners and other providers.

“Work Ready Kāpiti already has a strong record in our district of providing work ready passports, training and work experience,” says Ms Buswell.

Work Ready Kāpiti Board Chair Bryan Gundersen says the pilot programme builds in holistic pastoral care, with every young person supported by expertise and mentors.

“Te Hunga Rangatahi is designed so that every young person on the programme will get wrap-around wellbeing support and skills training. They will get an opportunity to get both their learners and restricted drivers licences too, and receive 12-months pastoral care from the day they start the programme,” says Mr Gundersen.

Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki will be responsible for the coordination and delivery of the wellbeing component based on the whare tapa wha model for health, which will begin and end at the Marae.

“Having the opportunity to be on local marae will provide experiences to learn tikanga Māori. It fosters a sense of belonging to a strong Māori community and enables our rangatahi to be part of the contributions that the ART Confederation (Ātiawa, Raukawa, Toa) have made to the wider district,” says Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki board Chair Kiwa Raureti.

Kaumatua for Te Puna Oranga o Ōtaki, Rawiri Rikihana, says “the name Te Hunga Rangatahi places our youth at the centre, celebrating the essence of their being and supporting their sacred space as the next generation.”

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