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Eastern BoP EDA Welcomes Investment in Youth to Employment

Eastern BoP Economic Development Agency welcomes investment in youth to employment

Today’s announcements by the Prime Minister and colleagues are encouraging and timely according to Michael Barnett, Chair of Toi EDA. “We particularly like Government’s recognition that each community and region is best placed to co-design and tailor programmes. It’s at the local level we can really engage with and support youth and rangatahi into jobs and regionally relevant vocations.”

With support from the three Eastern BoP District Councils and the BoP Regional Council, Toi EDA focusses on economic growth. A capable and productive workforce is essential to that. Toi EDA leads the Pathways to Work Project associated with the Ōpōtiki Harbour Development and Whakatōhea’s offshore marine farm. “Our approach is to collate forward planning for industry growth, with attention to workforce requirements. By anticipating these, we can help inform education, training and support agencies about creating real pathways into these vocations, with industry.

We’re getting started alongside Kawerau now too, where a cluster of new Iwi and industry-led industries are about to establish. It’s a win all around if we can work together to enable pathways into good jobs and growing prosperity in the Eastern BoP” says Barbara MacLennan who manages Toi EDA’s Workforce Development initiatives.

The organisation already has a strong focus on youth to employment through a partnership approach with the Todd Foundation, and alongside Iwi, Colleges, tertiaries, industry, youth and social services. Barbara reflects “We learned really quickly when we started asking industry and rangatahi about workforce challenges that there are two sides of the coin – the need for work- ready rangatahi and young people, and youth-ready employers. We must invest in both, and pastoral care is vital. We also need initiatives that engage whanau and grow their awareness more about regional jobs and vocations. ”

“These new Government resources will enable each community to work together and develop new options with rangatahi and youth who have disengaged from education and not yet found their way into training or work.”


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