Porirua youth initiative kicks off
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.
Janelle Williamson, left, loves the family environment at Connect Global created by co-owner Siuai Fiso.