Budget 23 extends Auckland Council’s Ngā Puna Pūkenga programme

Publish Date : 30 May 2023
Nga Puna Pūkenga
Programme participant Eve receiving her Class 4 drivers licence

Budget 2023 has further invested in Auckland Council’s Ngā Puna Pūkenga (NPP) initiative.

The partnership between Auckland Council and Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Industry Partnerships provides regional education and training initiatives. Its involving education key goal is supporting Aucklanders in Tāmaki Makaurau to develop new skills to enable them to enter sustainable, full-time employment, while delivering better workforce outcomes for employers.

Funding from MSD supports providers and employers engaged in the programme with pre-employment and in-work training, mentoring and support for the new workers.

The initiative encourages people who find it challenging to get into meaningful work to seek employment opportunities and it is hoped this will go some way to addressing the shortfall in skilled labour in the region.

Auckland Council’s Head of Sustainable Outcomes, Tom Mansell says the extension of the funding is recognition of the success of the programme.

“The extended funding will allow us to continue delivery of regionally led initiatives that improve employment outcomes for those looking for work, particularly women, Māori, Pasifika, disabled people, and youth in ethnic communities.

The Government is investing a further $28 million to continue delivery of the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs Community Employment Programme and Auckland Council’s Ngā Puna Pūkenga partnership for an additional two years (2023/24 to 2024/25).

From July 2019 to May this year, NPP has delivered 731 full-time job placements with a retention rate of over 80 per cent, meaning those placed have remained in their roles for over six months.

Since the programme’s inception, 46 employers have actively engaged with the council to employ new staff, 21 of them Māori owned businesses and another nine Pasifika-owned businesses. NPP is hoping to be able to deliver outcomes at a similar rate over the next two years, contract negotiations pending, for young people and those disadvantaged in the labour market.

Auckland Council’s Ngā Puna Pūkenga Manager, Doreen Christie, says the programme is all about building an active, engaged partnership between us the council and its contractors.

“We would like to encourage even more contractors in the region to positively engage with us.

“It is in everyone’s best interests with benefits flowing to both the contractors and the local communities,” she adds.

Fulton Hogan is one contractor involved in the project. Executive Divisional Manager Jun Lee says Fulton Hogan recognises the value of the initiative and enjoys working with the industry and communities to increase the size and skill level of the construction workforce to build sustainable careers that benefits everyone.

Ngā Puna Pūkenga supports the development of the Auckland workforce through social procurement.

Programme participant Marty

Programme participant Marty

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