Government pledges $2.2 million for Bay of Plenty job programmes

Three programmes aiming to get unemployed eastern Bay of Plenty youths into jobs have received funding of $2.2 million from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Minister for Employment Willie Jackson and Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones made the announcement this morning in Kawerau, saying the funding will go towards programmes collectively supporting about 200 people per year.

The three programmes are Kawerau Pathways to Work delivered by Symbiosis Kawerau, the Eastern Bay of Plenty Driver and Operator Training centre delivered by Toi EDA, and the School of Hard Knocks delivered by Social Good Ltd.

"The three initiatives predominately target young people not currently in employment, education and training, and who are most at risk of long-term unemployment," Mr Jones said.

"In the Bay of Plenty, that is just under 20 per cent of young people aged between 16 and 24.

"We're committed to reducing youth unemployment and helping young people who need extra support to develop the skills they need to get them into work.

"The programmes we've announced today also help address the future employment needs of the region."

Mr Jackson said the programmes will connect rangatahi [young people] with local employers and increase awareness of local industries.

"We're investing in programmes that will get local people ready for local jobs," Mr Jackson said.

"Collaborating with and supporting provincial communities to boost their economic growth and improve social outcomes of local people is what the PGF is about."

A file image symbolising the Provincial Growth Fund. Source: 1 NEWS