Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development
Hon Willie Jackson, Minister of Employment
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest $948,000 in getting rangatahi work ready in the Wairarapa, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today.
Nga Pumanawa Tupuna, run by local training provider Youth, Education, Training and Employment, will use the funding to target 110 at-risk rangatahi aged 16-24 and build their skills and confidence for the workforce.
The programme will be run in partnership with Rural Education Action Programme (REAP) Wairarapa and will receive funding over two years from the He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) initiative, which is funded in turn by the PGF. HPR supports youth (aged 15-24) not in employment, education or training (NEET) on pathways to employment.
“This project helps solve issues in the Wairarapa such as high NEET rates and skills shortages by involving local people who know the area and its challenges the best. We’re committed to reducing youth unemployment by supporting programmes where there is a clear need, and by helping rangatahi develop the skills and confidence to get them into further education, training or work,” Willie Jackson said.
“The programme will draw on Youth, Education, Training and Employment’s proven success in supporting rangatahi and its extensive networks within the community. In addition to this, the programme’s strong grounding in tikanga Māori will give students an even greater chance of achieving their goals.”
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says the funding is great news for Wairarapa’s future and has a clear fit with the region’s 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 the Wairarapa to unlock its full economic potential, while helping to remove barriers so its young people have a greater chance of finding sustainable employment.”
Youth, Education, Training and Employment is also supported by the three district councils in the region and is the first scheme HPR has supported outside its initial trial regions of Te Tai Tokerau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Gisborne/Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay.
“The Coalition Government is focused on improving outcomes for our young people, with a particular focus on lifting the incomes, skills, and opportunities of Māori. I’m glad that, once again, the PGF has been able to support a programme that turns this rhetoric into action,” Shane Jones said.