Proud to be part of Mahi Rangatahi

Partners Porirua News

A job interview and a winning prize draw were just two of the highlights for Partners Porirua clients attending the Porirua Careers Expo 2024 held in May.

Jacqui Edwards, Partners Porirua Workforce Development Manager, says one rangatahi client had a job interview for recruitment and industry training company Rāranga as a direct result of connecting at the Expo, the other rangatahi won it big in the passport prize draw taking out the JBL speakers and headphones prize.

The Expo was run by Porirua City Council in partnership with community organisations including Partners Porirua. It was designed to educate and provide career and education pathways for rangatahi with an added focus this year on the tech sector. Practical advice on CV creation and a mural photo wall showcasing everyone’s dream roles were crowd favourites.

Jacqui says the Expo was all about conversations and connections – encouraged through the passport to a career journey.

“Right from the start we took young people on a journey. One of the first things they saw was the traditional va’a (waka), they were then given a warm welcome from the Cook Island drummers and issued with a ‘passport’. Rangatahi collected stamps for every meaningful conversation or interaction they had at the different stalls. The goal was to get six-eight stamps and then go in the draw to win.

The 70+ stalls were grouped by industry making it easy for young people to navigate through construction and infrastructure, education, technology, health, government and others.

Jacqui says there were some innovative ideas – the more interactive the better with rangatahi keen to engage and find out more about the potential employer or educator.

One of the crowd favourites was a smoothie maker courtesy of The 502 and Ora Toa.

“They had an exercise bike connected up to a blender – if you wanted a smoothie you had to pedal for it to activate the blender and while you were doing that they’d talk about nutrition, and exercising benefits for a healthy heart,” says Jacqui (and yes, she did enjoy her smoothie).

New World had 1000 cupcakes available to decorate and Ngāti Toa Runanga had a couple of talented barbers who were providing free haircuts.

The Partners Porirua stand was pretty competitive with timed stacker cups.

Communications and Projects Assistant, Ruby Sei says it wasn’t just about going fast – it was about building a strong foundation – the same as what’s needed for education and work. “The stacker cup game was the conversation starter to explain the services Partners offers to young people, lots of them had heard about us but didn’t exactly know what support we provide.”

Ruby was impressed with the sense of purpose and positive energy that Rangatahi arrived with. “They knew what conversations they wanted to have, who they wanted to talk to and what they wanted to do.”

Porirua City Council worked with a team of passionate community providers to make sure the Expo was a success. Those partnering with the Council included Partners Porirua, Ministry of Social Development (MSD), TechStep, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, Le Fale Jobs and Skills Hub, WellingtonNZ, Ministry of Education New Zealand, Te Rā Nui Eastern Porirua Development.