Aug. 17, 2019, 12:14 p.m.
Three announcements were made at InnoNative hub in Whangārei on Thursday for recipients of the Provincial Growth Fund which will invest over $3 million into a range of digital, work and life skills training in Te Tai Tokerau.
Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced these programmes will support over 800 rangatahi and will be funded through the He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) programme, which aims to support young people, aged 15-24, who are not currently in employment, education or training to overcome barriers to get them into work.
The programmes funded are:
· NGEN Room (He Puna Marama Trust) $990,000
· Life Talk (Kamo Driving School) $396,000
· He Poutama Taitamariki $2.5 million (HPT)
CEO of the InnoNative hub, Raewyn Tipene has been driving the vision of growing small local businesses with a range of collective initiatives and believes building digital capability are skills our Rangatahi need to further their career prospects.
“There aren’t enough Māori in the IT industry, it’s a growth area and the N-Gen program was about trying to grow the number of Māori we can get into the IT sector” she said.
Development Minister Shane Jones said he never expected to see so many rangatahi dislocated from education, training and employment and although everything comes with risk, investing in courses outside the mainstream system is a risk worth taking.
“With the initiatives that Raewyn and her team are running, we endeavour to try something different because what we have been doing has been failing abysmally.
“We in the North have some god awful statistics and so these programmes, although small, I see them as a seed that has to be emulated and then replicated” Jones said.
The Ministry of Social Development is also providing $2.7 million with the He Poutama Taitamariki programme and Minister Willie Jackson said He Poutama Rangatahi will get local people ready for local jobs.
“The PGF is a fund that is so important to New Zealand, I can’t stress how relevant and important it has been in terms of the regions,” Jackson said.
“We are seeing peoples spirits coming back and giving communities a chance.”
Shane Jones said the Provincial Growth Fund team will now begin work in the Kaitaia region as their next area of focus.
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