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Employers look to young jobseekers as festive season nears

Auckland employers look to young jobseekers as busy festive season approaches
JobFest youth employment event on tomorrow, Wednesday 11 October

With the busy festive season fast approaching, Auckland retail and hospitality employers are among those exhibiting at JobFest today (Wednesday, 11 October), the largest youth employment event in New Zealand designed to get more young people into work.

JobFest is being held in West Auckland for the first time; a region known for its strong manufacturing sector, and commercial and housing developments.

The event, at The Trusts Arena in Henderson, marks the sixth JobFest since the event was first launched in 2015, and around 570 young people have been employed as a result.

JobFest is delivered by Auckland Council’s Youth Connections initiative, in partnership with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and The Tindall Foundation.
For the year ending June 2017, 27,300 young Aucklanders aged between 15-24 years were not in employment, education or training (NEET) representing 11 per cent of all young Aucklanders, while with NEET rates among Maori and Pacific Islanders consistently higher.

Auckland’s youngest councillor and staunch youth advocate, 31 year old Cr. Richard Hills, believes young people are important to the viability of any business, and says while they are looking to gain experience their involvement in the workplace is mutually beneficial.

“Young people bring a fresh perspective to the workplace; a good energy and good ideas. Employers can benefit greatly from this, along with their technology savvy outlook including strong social media skills,” he says.

“One of the biggest hurdles facing young people today is that they need experience, but they can’t get that experience without getting a foot in the door and given access to the on-the-job training they need to advance their careers,” Councillor Hills says.

Around 75 employers across a diverse range of sectors spanning health, technology construction, retail and hospitality are exhibiting at JobFest to meet face to face with potential employees.

Pam Ford, ATEED’s Acting General Manager Business, Innovation & Skills, says with many Auckland sectors facing a severe skills shortage, and the busy Christmas season fast approaching, JobFest is an opportunity for employers to support young people in entry-level roles.

“Within three years’ time half the global workforce will be millennials, and as the second most diverse city in the world, Auckland’s young people bring a new dimension to the workplace.
“Employers may find themselves lagging behind if they don’t capitalise on what this future generation can bring to their businesses,” she says.

Among businesses exhibiting at JobFest are Youth Employer Pledge partners, leading Auckland businesses who have shown their ongoing commitment to employing young people and helping them on their career path.

The Tindall Foundation announced in July a further three years funding to Youth Connections of more than $1 million, bringing total funding to $3,570,000.

Sir Stephen Tindall believes that finding ways to connect employers and young people is crucial to addressing the employment issues Auckland is facing.

“It's increasingly common to hear employers say they value attitude over skills, so the unique proposition of JobFest - allowing employers and young job-seekers to engage face-to-face - is incredibly relevant to today's job market,” he says.

“And the ongoing success of the JobFest events clearly show both employers and young people want to make that connection,” Sir Stephen Tindall says.
Community Action Youth on Drugs (CAYAD) is spearheading the release of a new hip hop song and dance video at JobFest to support young people who have been affected by drugs and alcohol which can be a barrier to employment.

The song called ‘Change the Tapes’ was composed by young members of The Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa (CTOA) and is about their own personal journeys with drugs and alcohol. Hip hop dancers are from the Freshmans Dance Crew. Both groups are based in West Auckland.

CTOA empowers and develops New Zealand’s most vulnerable young people to achieve their dreams and aspirations through music, film/photography, media and communication. JobFest at The Trusts Arena in Henderson runs from 09:30am-2pm. For further information visit


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