Shane Jones, left, Tom Hullena and Willie Jackson after the announcement of $948,000 funding for The Nga Pumanawa Tupuna initiative. PHOTO/EMMA BROWN
A project to get Wairarapa young people ready for work received a $948,000 boost on Tuesday from the government’s Provincial Growth Fund.
The announcement, made by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson, will have the funding provided over two years to Nga Pumanawa Tupuna, run by training provider Youth, Education, Training and Employment.
The Nga Pumanawa Tupuna initiative is a joint venture among YETE, the Wairarapa Rural Education Action Programme and the three Wairarapa councils, which receives strong support from both Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Rangitane.
It will use the money to target 110 at-risk rangatahi aged 16-24, with a programme aimed at building their skills and confidence for the workforce.
The programme will receive funding from the He Poutama Rangatahi initiative, which is funded in turn by the PGF.
HPR supports youth not in employment, education or training, on pathways to employment.
The programme will also help address the common issue of increased difficulty in finding work-ready applicants.
Project leader Tom Hullena said the funding now means change can happen sooner rather than later.
“We are thrilled with today’s announcement,” he said.
“A pathway for all and all in a pathway.”
Jackson said the programme would draw on YETE’s proven success in supporting rangatahi and its extensive networks within the community.
“In addition to this, the programme’s strong grounding in tikanga Maori will give students an even greater chance of achieving their goals.”
Jones said the funding was great news for Wairarapa’s future and had a clear fit with the Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy.
“The Nga Pumanawa Tupuna programme supports the region to upskill local rangatahi to help meet the demand for workers in industries like farming, construction and hospitality.
“Meeting this labour shortage is essential for Wairarapa to unlock its full economic potential, while helping to remove barriers so its young people have a greater chance of finding sustainable employment.”
Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson was pleased an important issue affecting the region’s youth was being addressed.
“Wairarapa has more youth out of education, training or work than the average across New Zealand. In our region one in every five people aged under 25 isn’t involved in education, training or employment. That compares to one in eight across New Zealand,” she said.
“We have passionate people working hard to improve outcomes for these important members of our community. This funding will shift those efforts up a gear.”