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Motueka youth employment findings to be presented

January 18th, 2017

Creating more employment and training opportunities for Motueka's youth is the subject of a comprehensive report to be made public at the upcoming Vision Motueka AGM.

The information gathering project led by Vision's secretary Linda Glew over the past six months has resulted in the identification of more than 20 organisations which already or could offer training or employment in and around the town.

However, to date most of them are working in isolation, so the aim of this project has been to find ways for them to collaborate and supplement each other's work.

The shortage of well-paid jobs and the prevalence of seasonal, low-paid service jobs has long been known as a significant challenge for the future of Motueka.

"It means many of Motueka's young people have the choice, upon leaving school around the age of 16, of either leaving town or staying and existing on 'sunshine wages'," Linda says.

"And many of those who stay risk becoming involved in antisocial behaviour. Lacking meaningful career options, many young people raised in Motueka become disengaged from the community, floating between part-time jobs, leaving and returning periodically.

"There is the common perception that too many of them cannot get meaningful permanent work while living here, and that this issue poses a huge challenge to the community and its future."

She says the issue cannot be resolved simply. "One of the major reasons is that the many agencies, be they government, private or community sectors, which work in education and work initiatives are constrained by their own contracts.

"This makes it difficult for them to create or be part of opportunities to work in more effective partnerships."

Many people are cynical that this problem can be resolved at all. Previous attempts to address it have seemed too hard to sustain, or required more resources than are available.

"Potential employers who have tried to provide assistance with apprenticeships or work experience packages have had mixed successes.

"Many anecdotes about their experiences have encouraged the perception across businesses and the wider community that young people's poor work attitudes and unpreparedness for the job market are the biggest stumbling block to any success."

Linda's report identifies many organisations who say they are prepared to work together under some sort of arrangement, such as a Task Force led by key stakeholders including at least training organisations and employers.

Vision Motueka will host a half-day facilitated workshop late in March which hopefully will be attended by all major stakeholders in this project, to collaborate on an effective and viable way forward.

Linda will present the details of her report at the Vision Motueka annual general meeting on Thursday, January 26th, 7:30 p.m. at Community House. After a very short formal AGM process, the report will be presented and those attending encouraged to ask questions, make suggestions and discuss options.

At the AGM a new set of up to seven trustees are to be elected, because most of the present trustees' two-year terms have expired. Nominations for trustees must be submitted by email before next Monday, January 23rd, and should be sent to david@visionmotueka.org.nz.

Anyone with questions about the role of trustees should contact present chairman David Armstrong at the same email address or phone 528 4046.



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