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Jobs Summit Projects Exceed Tindall Pledge

Jobs Summit Projects Exceed Tindall Pledge

A $1million pledge made by Stephen Tindall at the Jobs Summit has been exceeded in the form of support for a range of major new training and employment initiatives. Together they represent a commitment of over $1.7 million by the Tindall Foundation over the past nine months to Jobs Summit-related projects.

Following the Prime Ministerial Jobs Summit 2009, a small group convened by The Tindall Foundation looked for opportunities to improve long-term employment prospects for those communities that are most vulnerable to job losses in an economic downturn.

Since February this group has been working with key stakeholders to scope and develop innovative approaches, primarily in the healthcare and training sectors, but also in other areas. Resulting projects have now been established by participating partners and will be funded by the Foundation and other supporters.

Health workers for South Auckland

The Counties Manukau District Health Board ‘Grow Our Own Workforce’ project will create a workforce pipeline to help people living in the region to obtain jobs in healthcare and related occupations. Like many District Health Boards, Counties Manukau faces urgent staffing shortages and increasing misalignment between its workforce and the people it serves.

Determined to overcome these issues, the CEO Geraint Martin and his team joined with The Tindall Foundation and New York-based Kiwi Bret Halverson to explore a US-originated ‘sector-strategy’ approach to grow a workforce from local sources.

``The staffing issues we face are business-critical,’’ said Geraint, ``and it is no longer acceptable or possible to fill positions primarily from overseas sources. We simply must invest in people in South Auckland to help create a more effective pipeline to get them to work for us.’’


The result has been provision of up to $1million by Tindall Foundation trustees to a coalition of community organisations, schools, scholarships providers, tertiary institutions and the District Health Board. Together they form a ‘supply chain’ to get more local people into local healthcare jobs. Over the next two years, the $1million investment will put more than 200 new nurses, midwives and allied health professionals into a training pipeline to become health workers in South Auckland. This initiative will be used as a pilot to trial new and more direct paths into employment in all healthcare occupations.

Improving educational opportunities for Pacific Peoples

The Pacific Peoples Advancement Trust leads a new programme to increase the skill levels and employment prospects of Pacific people, particularly those with no or limited qualifications. This initiative is a partnership arrangement between a Pacific Leadership Group (Pacific Peoples Advancement Trust) and one of New Zealand’s largest tertiary providers, (Te Wananga O Aotearoa).

This new initiative will improve access for Pacific People into education and training programmes at the foundational level in particular, by reducing the obstacles that often limit and undermine participation. This will improve access for Pacific communities to engage in education, training and up-skilling for employment. It complements other education and training approaches, links where appropriate but does not replace them as an alternative.


A member of the leadership group, Pauline Winter, acknowledges the commitment of Te Wananga O Aotearoa and The Tindall Foundation-led working group. “The support and encouragement from these organisations ensured that our leadership group was able to put an idea quickly into action and bring together three established regional community-based Pacific organisations as an effective delivery network.” Winter applauds the leadership and commitment of The Village Trust, the Pacific Business Trust and the Pasifika Education Trust, the three organisations who are involved at this initial stage of the initiative.

Ex-All Black Michael Jones and The Village Community Services Trust first started off with a Sports Academy (see Sports Academy article) with 48 students for an 18-week course designed to assist young people aged 16 to 24 - many of whom have left school without qualifications – to step up into higher education, prepare them for employment and, in some instances, provide a pathway to a sports-specific career. The first group of students will complete the inaugural intake in December 2009.

Michael Jones said ``We recognise the power of sport as a `hook’ for our youth to re-engage them in education, and provide pathways to employment through pre-employment training and leadership skills. It is a vehicle for empowering our youth and maximising their potential”. The course is looking at a four-fold increase in student numbers for next year.

Pasifika Education Centre then followed with education and training courses in computing skills and English as another language both for 18 weeks at level 3 & 2. These are foundational courses for moving onto other education, training and employment opportunities for students with other organisations. Chair, Clyde Young says that ``this opportunity enhances the work the Centre has been doing for the last 35 years across Auckland’’.

The Pacific Business Trust commenced training with three courses over 18 weeks for 58 students interested in “First Steps to Business” and a full year’s Certificate in Small Business Management for 40 students due to be completed in June of 2010. All courses are fully enrolled and retention levels are still maintained above 90%. These courses assist predominantly older aged students who are looking at building towards formal qualifications, employment opportunities and self employment options.


Chair of the Trust Hamish Crooks said “The enthusiasm and commitment of the students to each of the courses indicates people are looking to contribute positively to their futures rather than wait. Each step in the right direction has its own challenges but people are willing to take on the challenges as they come and that has got to be good for New Zealand.

Collectively, there are 204 students participating in the education and training programmes that have commenced since August 2009. Next Year in 2010 the number of courses is expected to expand with up to 500 students participating in foundational education and training across Auckland.

Other projects

In addition to these major initiatives, other projects approved for Tindall Foundation Jobs Summit support include:

o $77,000 for Cycleway Development leadership by Kaikohe (Rau Marama) Community Trust
o $10,000 for Te Whanau Putahi (Hamilton) to support long term unemployed into work
o $5,000 for the Mayors’ Task Force for Jobs to evaluate apprentice support schemes. (The Mayors Task Force has previously received Tindall Foundation donations of more than $1.5 million for a range of innovative youth employment projects.)

Stephen says he is pleased that his Jobs Summit pledge has borne fruit in such positive ways.

``I have been enormously impressed with the innovative and creative thinking that has come from members of the group we convened and the many dedicated people we have worked with on these projects,’’ he said.

``From these projects I’m sure we will find new and effective ways to improve access to employment and get people into jobs, because jobs are at the heart of our quality of life and wellbeing.’’

ENDS

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