New Zealand’s largest city is opening its doors for young people in an initiative that will provide around 230 work experience opportunities to 18-24 year olds.
Auckland’s largest employer, Auckland Council has joined hands with the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Social Development to hire young people from two youth employment programmes – CadetMax and Limited Service Volunteers.
The council expects at least a dozen young people will begin work this month, with 50 placements expected over the first three months. The council employs 8000 staff in 55 departments and seven council-controlled companies.
More than 2000 young Aucklanders leave school each year without qualifications, and 15-19 year olds are the most over-represented group in unemployment statistics.
The Limited Service Volunteers programme is a free six-week motivational training course run by the New Zealand Defence Force, and CadetMax offers young people, who are referred to the Ministry of Social Development, guidance to achieve their career goals. These volunteers will have undertaken substantial career counselling and pre screening. As the programme develops and there is an increasing demand from Auckland Council for young people, the Auckland Chamber and Work and Income will source young job seekers from other programmes and avenues.
“Work experience is vitally important for young people looking for that first job,” says New Zealand’s Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
“These placements will be an opportunity for young Aucklanders to get on-the-job experience while exploring a potential career,” she says.
Th Auckland Chamber Chief Executive, Michael Barnett, says the benefits to not only Auckland’s economy but New Zealand’s workforce development are greatly increased with one organisation making a commitment to invest a small amount of time in young people who are undoubtedly the future of what we want Auckland to be.
“However, this is only one organisation and we challenge businesses throughout Auckland to make work experience available to our young people.”
The initiative will target up to 1000 work experience placements for young career starters.
The work experience will engage enemployed young people in work activity and help build networks of people who have employment opportunities within the council.