Youth 2 Work ends 2021 on a high

Partners Porirua News

Friday, 28 January 2022

Seventy rangatahi started new careers in 2021 thanks to the Porirua Youth 2 Work Movement (Y2W).

That was the big take out at the 2021 end of year celebrations where employers and young people got together to reflect on the year.

Executive Director Michelle Robinson says the year certainly had its challenges due to Covid, but the organisation continued to provide much needed support to the rangatahi of Porirua.

“As well as placing young people into numerous workplaces in the city we also helped over 300 obtain their driver’s licence – a critical component for securing jobs in today’s employment market.

We even managed to coordinate successful events linked to the biggest employers and growth sectors in Porirua” says Ms Robinson.

“The Women in Trades Expo was a collaboration with Porirua City Council and Porirua Chamber of Commerce and the recent Tradies Meet & Greet saw 10 school leavers secure work in construction and infrastructure”.

The end of year celebrations also provided an opportunity to welcome the latest employer to join Y2W – Desktop Imaging. Desktop Imaging joins 47 other businesses, organisations and educators that partner with Y2W to support Porirua rangatahi.

The highlight of the evening was hearing from young people about their experiences in their new positions.

Y2W Workplace Development Manager, Jacqui Edwards, says it’s so important for everyone to hear the narrative from both the young people and the employers who have taken them on.

“We’ve really seen some of our rangatahi turn their lives around –it’s all about being in the right place at the right time and listening with the right ears. Yes, we encourage looking for a job and success in that job but along the way we are doing a bit of Adulting 101. We don’t just help them get a job we stay a part of their lives – often for quite a while!”

Ms Edwards says the function was an opportunity for these young people to demonstrate how much their confidence has grown – one of the new employees had just started his apprenticeship, had obtained a restricted licence and was talking to a room full of employers – all in his first week! “I love it when our rangatahi get apprenticeships or cadetships. – that’s them sorted for the rest of their lives!”

A consistent theme that came through was the support that Y2W provides to help these rangatahi get a job.

Ms Edwards says there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes pre-employment and post-employment investment that goes on.

“We coach these young people on eye contact, a firm handshake and how to prepare for an interview to secure the job, then maintain the job. Sometimes an offer of employment comes with conditions – like obtaining a restricted or full licence – we help with that too.”