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Refocus on trades training


Wairoa Mayor Craig Little is thrilled to see Wairoa rangatahi grabbing the opportunity to learn a trade.

The post-COVID environment has seen a raft of funding available for training and apprenticeships with Wairoa people making the most of the opportunity.

Around 30 locals, mainly young people, have moved into training and apprenticeships over the last couple of months.

Mr Little said for years Wairoa has not had a trades training pathway or commitment to training in the trade space.

“As someone who completed an electrical apprenticeship I have been concerned that we haven’t been replenishing our specialised tradespeople and the problems that posed for a small isolated community like ours.”

“In July the Wairoa Young Achievers Trust (WYAT) hosted an information evening to provide employers with the knowledge they needed to take on new staff.

“That evening was a huge success and has resulted in employers now going to the Wairoa Young Achievers Trust and asking for potential employees.”

Mr Little praised the work of WYAT manager manager Denise Eagelsome-Karekare and her team, saying he is really impressed with the progress they are making.

He also praised the collaborative approach of local providers working together for the best outcome for the rangatahi with EIT providing appropriate courses and WINZ supporting employment outcomes through financial assistance.

Ms Eaglesome-Karekare said since the training and apprenticeship evening there has been a huge focus on matching keen able employees with willing employers.

The Wairoa Young Achievers Trust is assisting the Apprenticeship Support Programme which is a cross-agency government response to help employers retain and bring on new apprentices, while dealing with the effects of COVID-19.

Employers and businesses are able to access support from either Apprenticeship Boost, Mana in Mahi, or the regional Apprenticeships Initiative.

Ms Eaglesome-Karekare said Wairoa is going through a real economy boom at the moment with whānau returning home and a population increase.

“On top of that we have been fortunate to secure significant Central Government funding, particularly through the Provincial Growth Fund, for projects like the marae renovations, main street revitalisation and roading and bridge contracts. To carry out this work and more we need trained workers and that has been our focus.

“In many cases these employment opportunities are life changing for our rangatahi providing them with training, experience, a qualification and a career.

“Getting our young people into work and careers is the perfect solution to Wairoa’s employment challenges. We hear employers telling us they need staff and we also know there is a shortage of local tradies so this is the ideal solution.

“The end result is employed people working and contributing to our economy which must be good for our district.”

14 October 2020

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