Dunedin employers are giving young people a chance, Altitude
Programme manager Sonya Hill says.
Ms Hill said the comments made by Ministry of Social
Development southern regional commissioner John Allen last
week calling the Dunedin community complacent, or
indifferent, to the wellbeing of young people and their
future employment were inaccurate.
Dunedin employers were not refusing to hire young people; the
employers were refusing to employ people without experience,
''It's not their age that's the problem. It's the lack of
experience they have.''
If a 35-year-old had a CV lacking work experience, they would
struggle to find a job, too, she said.
The programme worked with Dunedin employers to get young
people into work and bridged the uncertainty that comes with
employing a young person lacking experience.
The trust employed them for 12 weeks and placed them in jobs
and took on ''the risk and the paperwork''.
About three-quarters of people who completed the programme
got full-time work, she said.
The trust was a charity and the programme was partially
funded by employers, she said.
Z Energy retailer Jonathan Usher said he had no regrets
recruiting staff, such as forecourt concierge Ed Matthews,
from the programme.
''Customers love Ed. He's a nice kid and he's out there
smiling to the customers.''
After the programme, Mr Matthews became a ''fully fledged'' Z
Energy staff member.
''It's great. He worked well for us and I get a great staff
Mr Usher said he recommended unemployed youth to join a
training programme, such as Altitude, rather than posting out
CVs seeking work.
Mr Matthews said the programme included both customer
training and front-of-house training provided by Otago
''It's an even mix of study and work.''
Dunedin Courier Company office manager Di Cochrane said
courier Sam Stevenson had completed the programme and the
company liked employing fit staff with good time-management
Jobs at the company were never advertised because many people
came to the business asking for work, she said.
''The kids come in here and drop their CV off. They are the
ones going out of their way to find employment and they're
the ones that deserve a chance.''
Mr Stevenson said he was on an unemployment benefit for
nearly a year before he enrolled in the programme.
There were jobs for young people in Dunedin and of the five
drivers at Dunedin Couriers, three were aged under 25, he
''It's hard work but I enjoy it,'' Mr Stevenson said.
• Dunedin teenager Danielle Newton has landed herself a job
after an eight-month search.
The 17-year-old was offered a position at Brooklands
Retirement Village after an article about her search for work
was published in the Otago Daily Times earlier this
Miss Newton said she was excited to get the full-time job.