Employers sing praises of Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

Published on 22 November 2021

Mayor's taskforce for jobs Youth Launch Team

Programme a community effort making a difference to Waitaki youth

From 1 July 2021, Government funding was allocated for 25 young people aged 16-24 to help them into jobs before December. The programme proved so successful in Waitaki, 30 young people were in jobs or apprenticeship by October: 19 finding full time employment; 7 an apprenticeship; 4 part time employment.

11 different industries stepped up to take part: Food production, Mechanical; Engineering; Social work; Farming; Supermarket; Horse Racing; Retail; Building, Manufacturing; Automotive, 25 different employers in all.

Youth Launch’s Eugen Dupu said, “The success of the programme speaks for itself - we hit our target in half the allocated time and within budget. There is a hidden treasure in every young person and helping them discover their purpose will allow them to make a difference in this community. We are here to inspire our youth, support them and get them ready on this journey called “life”. Some of the Waitaki’s youth need a little nudge and they are on their way; others need quite a lot of pushing but both get there in the end. Youth Launch is one of the most successful community programmes that I have worked with and am hoping it is here to stay.”

Jason Mavor from Breen Construction said, “Initially we have been a bit reluctant to engage with Youth Launch (Mayors Taskforce for Jobs) as there have been a lot of initiatives over the years that had the greatest intentions at heart but execution wasn’t there. After a wee bit of research, it didn’t take much convincing and we took a young man that finished at St Kevin’s and offered him an apprenticeship. Eugen and the team are very good and supportive, the process has been smooth and I hope the programme will last and not stop.

As I am sure that others have experienced already, there is a shortage of people in our industry. Due to the success of the programme, we have just taken on another young man that finished at WBHS and offered him an apprenticeship.”

Warren Smith of Riteway Paint & Panel said, “Youth Launch is a brilliant idea to get the young people into the trade sector once again. There is a shortage and I know that many are in great need of staff. Young people have little to no income to get started and coming prepared with own tools and equipment helps them and the employer. I appreciate what Eugen's been doing with these kids and I recommend it to anyone in need a staff. It is a two-way road: employer doing their bit to risk taking unexperienced youth and youth coming as prepared as possible and willing to work and learn. 

Brent Baillie, General Manager of Rainbow Confectionary NZ said, “Rainbow Confectionery has been assisted by the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Programme and it has successfully placed 5 people into new fulltime positions. With the support provided this programme has offered a great platform and facility for employers and new entrants to the workforce to get together have successful outcomes during this transformational time.

Moving forward we hope to see a lot more opportunities being developed for younger people in the workplace and this programme will only help make this happen.”

Community Development Manager Helen Algar said, “This has been a real community effort and it’s such a privilege to be able to work with a motivated and proactive team of MTFJ, young people and employers to make a difference where it counts.”

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher concurred, saying, “I think it’s only right we acknowledge the effort of the employers. This programme is a great example of what the future of local government can be. We received funding from Government and our connections meant it could be better focused in our district and we could directly invest that money in our people and in improving outcomes for our community - particularly our young people, some who may have had challenges getting into work.”



Photo: Waitaki Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs Youth Launch Team
(left-right): Eugen DupuSusie SinclairHelen AlgarDawn EwingYvonne AvisSandra Familton (and Luna)Mayor for Waitaki Gary Kircher