Plans are underway to help address high youth unemployment in the Bay of Plenty.
Provincial Growth Fund support for a pathways to work hub in Tauranga will connect young people with training and meaningful employment opportunities, says Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau.
“Priority One Western Bay of Plenty Incorporated, the western Bay of Plenty sub-region’s economic development organisation, will receive $870,400 from the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi allocation to fund the Ara Rau - Pathways to Work hub initiative in downtown Tauranga."
The funding announced is for three years, allowing Priority One to support Ara Rau’s goal to create a seamless path for young people from education to employment by connecting employers, job seekers and other service providers offering training or pastoral care, says Tabuteau.
“And while this initiative will be vital in helping to address the high number of youth who aren’t in employment education or training, as well as significant inequity in educational outcomes for Māori, the hub will also reach out to people left unemployed by COVID-19, those wanting to return to the workforce, finishing studies, or even workers with jobs who want to increase their skills."
Tabuteau says the whole community stands to benefit from this initiative.
“By focussing on skills and employment, the Ara Rau Hub will be able to provide a pool of local skilled people to attract businesses into the area and is expected to place up to 200 people into jobs every year."
This initiative has been strongly endorsed and supported by the Mayor of Tauranga Tenby Powell, local businesses and industry, Tauranga City Council and Te Puni Kōkiri.