A new training course equipping the Clutha district's young
people for jobs finished yesterday and participants are now
preparing for jobs.
The Ready, Steady, Work course is headed by Clutha Mayor
Bryan Cadogan, who spent the past two years finding agencies
and groups willing to take part in the project.
A member of the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs programme, Mr
Cadogan has been working with five government agencies and
community groups to reduce youth unemployment by identifying
those needing jobs earlier and helping them become attractive
prospects for Clutha employers.
The Ready, Steady, Work course involved a joint approach
between the task force and some of the Clutha region's major
employers to co-operatively run a mentoring programme
alongside participants' employment.
According to Work and Income New Zealand, in September there
were 85 unemployed people in the district aged 18 to 24, many
of whom had gone through the course.
"This is the culmination of technically two years of work. I
couldn't have asked for more from the government departments
- MSD [Ministry of Social Development] were the ones who, in
the beginning, had to believe. And they did believe."
The course is funded by the MSD, which provided staff to help
run it. It incorporated a fitness and healthy eating
programme, mentoring, sessions with speakers and tours of
The course began on November 5 and aims to have all
participants in jobs by December 6.
The group spent the last three days of the course at Telford,
staying at the hostel, taking part in fitness exercises, and
learning a variety of farming skills from welding to milking
At a presentation marking the end of the course yesterday, Mr
Cadogan thanked the programme's many supporters.
"A third of you already have jobs, and we're confident the
rest will be in jobs only a few days after our goal," Mr
Cadogan told participants.
"You've earned our respect, you deserve our respect, and we
couldn't have asked for more."
The Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs was created in 2000, with
seven mayors, and now involves 65 out of 67 mayors. It aims
to work with government ministers, officials, agencies,
community groups and the private sector to reduce youth
unemployment and improve youth engagement in the community.