Auckland Council Libraries are responding to emerging community needs as the city moves to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, in particular the job losses the pandemic has caused.
Library staff are being upskilled to provide employment and skills advice to their communities from 12 October using the new Work Navigator service piloted by the Te Manawa community hub in Westgate.
As well as the usual services, participating libraries offer enhanced job-seeking services for anyone finding themselves out of work and needing support.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the initiative will provide extra support for people who may have lost work because of COVID-19.
“The pandemic and resulting recession has caused businesses to close and jobs to be lost in our region,” he says.
“We want to do what we can to help Aucklanders find work or gain skills to improve their employment options, and through this programme our libraries staff are well placed to deliver those services.
“The team will offer practical support with CVs and cover letters, viewing job websites, discussing skill sets or free online training via Lynda.com. Staff will be able to help connect Aucklanders with skills development, education and training courses.
“The council is also offering other support for people affected by COVID-19, such as rates deferrals for those in need and advice and resources for small businesses.”
The libraries involved in Phase 1 of the regionwide Work Navigator rollout are Botany, Central City, Glen Eden, Glenfield, Helensville, Māngere East, Manukau, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill and Ōtāhuhu.
In addition, Auckland Council Libraries have partnered with Literacy Aotearoa at five libraries across the region - Botany, Otahuhu, Pukekohe, Te Manawa and Waiheke - to run their popular Work Readiness Programme.
This programme offers group-based learning for improving key literacy and job-seeking skills, helping library customers gain confidence and independence.
Linda Greenalgh Head of Regional Delivery and Partnerships Auckland Libraries says: “Libraries have always been a place people turn to in challenging times. We’re a trusted and safe space to learn and connect.
"With the unemployment rate set to grow significantly due to COVID-19 over the next 12 months, our Work Navigator service will provide options for those looking for support to access employment, education and training.”
Ms Greenalgh encourages people to drop in for a chat and a kind word, as well as some wrap-around services.