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Launch of Ngā Puna Pūkenga – Skills for Industry programme

Published: 28 August 2019

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Helping change the working lives of youth

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is partnering with Auckland Council to support people into sustainable, full-time employment.

Auckland Council is working with its supply network in the infrastructure sector to encourage employment opportunities for those who find it challenging to get into meaningful work. The MSD funding enables training and pastoral care for the new recruits to support providers and employers.

The partnership supports a cultural change within Auckland Council procurement with Healthy Waters introducing a sustainable outcomes approach to meet objectives in the Auckland Plan 2050 relating to environmental, economic, cultural and social wellbeing. This approach is supported by Civil Contractors New Zealand, the industry association, and The Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs.

“We aim to create 60 jobs with businesses contracted to Auckland Council in the first year. We see this working particularly for the people the government most wants to reach, those on a benefit including Māori and Pasifika people, with a focus on youth,” said the Minister of Social Development, Hon Carmel Sepuloni.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “This partnership will provide stable, long-term employment, training and support for people who are currently struggling to find work.

“We need to create an opportunity to learn skills and create career paths for people who might otherwise be trapped into long-term welfare dependency.

“Ngā Puna Pūkenga will help bring young people, including Maori and Pasifika youth, into the infrastructure industry, and encourage industry to look first to local people to meet skill and labour shortages.

“By working in partnership with industry, social enterprises and central government agencies, we can together promote thriving and sustainable communities and deliver the infrastructure projects Auckland needs to be a world-class city.”

Citycare, a leading provider of construction, maintenance and management services has jumped right on board with Ngā Puna Pūkenga.

The company’s Executive General Manager, Tim Gibson, says, “we employed Jackson, a hardworking young man on the autism spectrum just over a month ago. Working within the construction team fulltime as a general labourer, Jackson has been a great addition and a successful placement for the team.

“We’re committed as an employer to inclusiveness and providing opportunities within our workplace.”

Jackson’s mum Alexia says, “CityCare has given her son the break he needs to get into real, meaningful work, with the opportunity to gain qualifications and make progress.

Eight job seekers have been hired in advance of the launch of the partnership and the plan is to expand the number of businesses involved in the pilot in the coming months.  

Read more: Business & economy

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