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Learn and earn graduates to be celebrated nationwide

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is congratulating the best and brightest vocational students who are graduating over the next two months as part of a jointly run programme between the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) and the Industry Training Federation (ITF).

MTFJ is a network of New Zealand’s mayors that strives to increase employment opportunities for some of our most at-risk youth, and has partnered with ITF to steer these young people into vocational training programmes, to equip them with the real-world skills they need to succeed in the job market.

In total, 25 councils are either hosting or co-hosting a graduation ceremony with ITF, seeking to promote and recognise trade and service careers, which while vital to our economy, as well as being well paid, are often overlooked.

Ōtorohanga District Council and Waitomo District Council are co-hosting a graduation ceremony this evening, with many councils holding ceremonies over the next two months.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern highlighted the need for trades and service careers to reduce the country’s skills shortage. It is estimated that New Zealand will need more than 56,000 workers by 2022 in the construction industry alone.

“We need to fill these roles to keep our economy strong and sustainable. You are absolutely essential to us and to New Zealand’s success. Never underestimate the contribution you will be making,” Ardern said.

Trade and service careers are of particular interest to MTFJ as they provide an ‘earn and learn’ pathway in industries which while booming, are facing a shortage of tradespeople.

MTFJ is a nationwide network of 66 out of the 67 Mayors in New Zealand, striving towards all young people being engaged in training, employment or education.

“Trades and service industry qualifications require a lot of hard work to achieve, and we think that’s worth celebrating,” says MTFJ chair and Ōtorohanga mayor Max Baxter.

“It’s important to provide the opportunity for local communities to celebrate the achievements of their local people, who will undoubtedly become our future workforce and community leaders.”

“Through the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, we want to collectively change the perception of trade and service careers, and show people both finishing, and considering these pathways, that they’re seen and valued by our communities.”

Chief Executive of the Industry Training Federation Josh Williams said “It’s wonderful to see so many councils putting their hand up to host a ceremony this year.”

“This is about industries and communities celebrating the efforts and achievements of people who run local businesses and provide essential services.”

“It’s always nice to finish up a big challenge with a celebration,” continued Baxter.

A list of MTFJ Industry Training Graduations can be found on the MTFJ website.

To watch Prime Minister Ardern congratulate the graduates, click here.

About LGNZ and local government in New Zealand

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is the peak body representing New Zealand's 78 local, regional and unitary authorities. LGNZ advocates for local democracy, develops local government policy, and promotes best practice and excellence in leadership, governance and service delivery. Through its work strengthening sector capability, LGNZ contributes to the economic success and vibrancy of communities and the nation.

The local government sector plays an important role. In addition to giving citizens a say in how their communities are run, councils own a broad range of community assets worth more than $120 billion. These include 90 per cent of New Zealand's road network, the bulk of the country's water and waste water networks, and libraries, recreation and community facilities. Council expenditure is approximately $8.5 billion dollars, representing approximately 4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and 11 per cent of all public expenditure.

For more information visit www.lgnz.co.nz.


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