Central Otago set to benefit from new employment programme
An employment programme with a proven track-record of supporting young people into sustainable employment will begin in Central Otago.
The Central Otago District Council (CODC) has secured $99,000 from the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) Community Employment Programme (CEP), which is a nationwide partnership between Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). The programme focuses on getting young people into sustainable employment and highlights the power of localism, while promoting community-led solutions for youth employment, education and training.
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan is delighted to see the initiative come to the district.
“I have seen the success of this programme in other parts of the country, and I look forward to taking an active role in ensuring it is successful here in Central Otago.”
“Working at a grassroots level, MTFJ's success relies on councils having the power and funding to address the challenges in their community with tailored solutions. I’ve been the mayor here for seven years and one thing I can reliably say is that you can’t beat local knowledge when it comes to driving great outcomes. Our council knows the issues in our community, the organisations and businesses equipped to help, and we now have the funding to put our plans into action. We are grateful for the funding to establish this pilot.”
MSD’s Industry Partnerships Director Amanda Nicolle said that when councils work hand in glove with local MSD teams, young people can thrive in work.
"We know young people living in our smaller communities face different employment challenges than those living in our cities. Rural and provincial councils are in a great position to identify those who need extra support and connect them with the right local businesses.
"When this happens, young people lay down roots and local economies grow stronger.”
In May 2023, the MTFJ programme achieved a significant milestone, placing over 5,000 predominantly young people into work across rural and provincial Aotearoa since its inception in early 2020.
The pilot has a target of securing 11 young people into employment over the next seven months, with a coordinator employed to progress this work. They will work one on one with the young people to support them into employment. Funding is also available to help them access training or equipment needed to gain employment.
Alexandra and Districts Youth Trust Manager Tash Kane also expressed her delight that the taskforce would benefit local youth.
“If we can wrap support networks around our young people early, we have the ability to change lives, and set them up for a successful future.”
CODC Economic Development Manager Nick Lanham said the next step was to appoint a local coordinator to connect Central Otago youth with permanent roles.
“This will be an extremely rewarding role for someone looking to make a difference in their local community, and I look forward to hearing expressions of interest about the role as well as from business who are looking for local, young talent.”
PHOTO: Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan (left) and CODC’s Economic Development Manager Nick Lanham are looking forward to seeing the district benefit from the Mayors Taskforce grant to help young people into employment.