Big win for young Porirua job seekers

Partners Porirua News

Young people in Porirua are the big winners with hundreds more in full time employment since the inception of the Porirua Youth 2 Work Movement in 2015.

Michelle Robinson, Executive Director of Partners Porirua who run Youth 2 Work, says it’s a huge achievement for the city.

“We’ve spent the past five years working with employers to understand their needs and working with young people to make sure they’re either earning or learning – we’re all about rangatahi to mahi.”

Ms Robinson says a key to the success of the programme is businesses and organisations coming on board as partners – with more than 40 organisations now official partners.

“We recently welcomed our newest partner – Bunnings Porirua and celebrated the success of their ‘Tradies Meet and Greet’ function which resulted in seven young people gaining employment. At the same time as welcoming Bunnings, we recognise the huge commitment of our inaugural partner, Downer, who have now employed 33 young people through the Youth 2 Work programme.”

Graeme O’Keeffe, Construction Manager for Downer says the company originally got on board as a bit of a community service initiative but has gained more than just keen young workers.

“We’ve found that the experienced guys in our business want to share their knowledge. Being involved with Youth 2 Work gives us the opportunity to give back as tradespeople and it also gives us the opportunity to replace ourselves as we get older,” says Mr O’Keeffe.

Cameron Mexted says Mexted Performance Sports Surfaces joined as a partner because they are looking for good workers and like the idea of giving young locals the chance to get into their field.

“It also gives us the chance to try and mould them into doing things the way we want them done and was an opportunity to give back to the local area.

“Working with the Youth 2 Work team we know the candidates that are put forward have been screened – they want to work and are happy to put in the hard mahi to get the treats,” he says.

Jamayne Kitiseni recently joined the Mexted team and is learning the ropes as a sports turf technician. “I love getting up in the morning and not knowing what I’ll be doing that day – I’m always doing something new.”

He says the opportunity has given him confidence in himself and the confidence to learn more and try new things.