Programmes Giving Youth Unemployed Hope
By Dougal McGowan, OCCI, Chief Executive | Posted: Thursday July 13, 2017
It’s great to be part of a community trying to make a difference.
Over a number of years there have been many groups and agencies looking to make a difference, particularly in youth unemployment. Those aged from 18 to 24 are over-represented in unemployment statistics in Dunedin and the Otago region.
Many initiatives and programmes are available to engage and support these young people.
Things have ramped up in recent years with outstanding support from the Otago Community Trust (OCT), Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and many other community groups.
We are starting to see greater engagement and more hope for young people.
A couple of programmes really make a difference.
The first is the Youth Employment Success (YES) programme.
The focus is on employment and training opportunities for young workers and students. The aim is to raise awareness and create conversations about youth employment; build employer knowledge and confidence in employing young people; generate opportunities and jobs for Dunedin youth while recognising, endorsing and celebrating Dunedin youth friendly employers.
Another worthy programme supports people into jobs in the not-for-profit sector.
Again the OCT and MSD teamed up to cover the costs of having six-month work placements.
The programme gives young people the opportunity to work, create good habits, get the experience they lack and the confidence and contacts that will make a difference.
Some are employed within the sector they work and others pursue alternative opportunities.
This year the chamber is proud to support this programme by adding a pastoral care element supporting the intern and employer.
When we add in the Sexy Summer Jobs managed by Enterprise Dunedin, the Work Ready Programme partnership between the Otago Polytechnic, University of Otago and Study Dunedin and managed apprentice programmes such as the chamber support “4 trades”, there is a growing network of support making a difference for young people.
It’s important to note one person’s role in all this. MSD’s social development regional commissioner, John Allen, retired last week.
John was a visionary leader who never gave up on those who needed a chance or opportunity. Thanks for the years of service, John.