Porirua youth ini­tia­tive kicks off

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

The Porirua Youth 2 Work Move­ment is up and run­ning and look­ing for part­ners.

Mayor Nick Leggett is call­ing on the Porirua com­mu­nity to get to­gether to sup­port its young peo­ple and to have them all ‘‘earn­ing or learn­ing’’.

‘‘We’re on the hunt for for­ward­think­ing busi­nesses, ed­u­ca­tors and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions to get in­no­va­tive about pro­vid­ing the right mix of learn­ing, skills and op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­pe­ri­ence – to cre­ate great young em­ploy­ees and great job op­por­tu­ni­ties here in Porirua,’’ he said.

‘‘This is about pro­vid­ing jobs for young peo­ple who will be men­tored and sup­ported by the wider com­mu­nity. It’s about tee­ing up em­ploy­ers, train­ers and young peo­ple to lower our youth un­em­ploy­ment rate and give ev­ery young per­son a path­way to a job or ed­u­ca­tion.’’

Leggett said that with a shrink­ing youth pop­u­la­tion in New Zealand, Porirua could not af­ford wasted tal­ent not con­tribut­ing.

‘‘It’s ev­ery young per­son’s right to have a job and some­thing to do. But it’s their re­spon­si­bil­ity to work for it.

‘‘The Youth 2 Work Move­ment is about join­ing the dots be­tween peo­ple who train and pre­pare kids, em­ploy­ers, the com­mu­nity and of course, young peo­ple.

‘‘ We’ve found the dif­fer­ent play­ers don’t com­mu­ni­cate enough. It’s time to change that – start­ing now.’’

The whole com­mu­nity would ben­e­fit from happy, healthy and wealthy young peo­ple con­tribu- ting to the city, he said. Leggett said there were al­ready some ded­i­cated em­ploy­ers in­vest­ing in young peo­ple and he was keen to see more get­ting in­volved.

Con­nect Global is such a com­pany. Own­ers Ser­ena and Si­uai Fiso have set about cre­at­ing a unique work­ing en­vi­ron­ment in the heart of Porirua – one that is at­trac­tive to Maori and Pa­cific Is­land em­ploy­ees, par­tic­u­larly young peo­ple.

Con­nect Global is an out­sourced con­tact cen­tre that has been go­ing for 13 years.

Ser­ena Fiso said that of­ten young peo­ple didn’t fit into the box of a nor­mal cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment and were over­looked. But given the op­por­tu­nity they could thrive in the call cen­tre en­vi­ron­ment.

She said be­cause Porirua had so many young peo­ple it was crit­i­cal to be an at­trac­tive em­ployer to them.

‘‘ We un­der­stand that young peo­ple are our fu­ture. We also fo­cus on moth­ers – they have such an im­por­tant role to help de­velop our peo­ple at home and in the work­place.’’

Janelle Wil­liamson has been with Con­nect Global for two years with a brief stint of work ex­pe­ri­ence even­tu­ally lead­ing to a full­time job.

‘‘I re­ally like the en­vi­ron­ment and how they look af­ter you like fam­ily,’’ she said. ‘‘There is lots of sup­port.’’

Busi­nesses, ed­u­ca­tors and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions keen to find out more, go to part­ner­sporirua.org.nz and search for ‘‘youth 2 work’’ or phone 2371099.

Photo: MARK TANTRUM

Janelle Wil­liamson, left, loves the fam­ily en­vi­ron­ment at Con­nect Global cre­ated by co-owner Si­uai Fiso.

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