Yesterday, 14 May 2012, Auckland Council launched a new Tindall Foundation funded initiative called Youth Connections in collaboration with joint funder Auckland Airport Community Trust and several other key stakeholder organisations. It will help Auckland’s young people to get local jobs by improving the links between school leavers and local employers. This initiative will complement and work with existing services to tackle the high rate of 16-24 year-old unemployment. Currently, 25,700 young people in Auckland are not in education, employment or training (NEETs).
Helping young people to find and keep meaningful employment benefits everyone. It creates a prosperous future for them and their families. Employers can access a committed trained local workforce. Evidence also shows that this model can signifcantly reduce long-term costs of ongoing anti-social problems resulting from jobless youth.
There will be $1.35 million of funding over two years from The Tindall Foundation (TTF), Auckland Airport Community Trust & Auckland Council. TTF's contribution is $670,000. The joint funding will pay for five initiatives across Auckland, delivered at a Local Board area level. The five funded Local Board areas are Henderson-Massey/Whau, Puketapapa, Mangere-Otahuhu, Maungakiekie-Tamaki, and Otara-Papatoetoe.
Each area has developed a delivery plan to suit the specific employment needs of its own community. The model is loosely based on the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs model, championed by Mayor Dale Williams, which has led to almost zero youth unemployment in Otorohanga. This reduction in youth unemployment also led to a significant reduction in ratepayer expenses to address the results of anti-social crime (e.g. vandalism).
The Auckland Local Boards offer the best opportunity to adapt the Otorohanga model in a practical way to operate at a local community level in Auckland. Local Board leaders will champion this initiative by encouraging and supporting local employers, schools, trainers and support services to get behind it.
A co-ordinated cross-city approach will be ensured by an Auckland-wide governing steering group made up of key organisations including Auckland Council, MSD, Employers and Manufacturers Association, and training organisations.
Listen to the Radio New Zealand piece here
From left: Martin Fryer, Auckland Airport Community Trust; Leila Boyle, Chair, Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board; John McCracken, Chair, Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board; Jack Weir, Whau Local Board; Penny Hulse, Deputy Mayor; Peter Skelton, Chair, Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board; Sir Stephen Tindall, Tindall Foundation; Nigel Turnbull, Deputy Chair, Puketapapa Local Board