Mayors Taskforce for Jobs launches local project

Published: 2 May 2023

Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown is a member of a nationwide network of mayors working together to help young people under 25 into employment, education, training and other positive activity in their communities.

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ), in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, has set up a Rural Community Resilience programme and Ashburton District Council is running a pilot programme for six months.

Ashburton has been funded to employ a youth employment coach and to work with local businesses to place youth into employment.

Mayor Brown said it was a great opportunity to help youth not in employment, education or training, as well as other young people or those living with disabilities.

“We know there are already good programmes in our district helping some of these young people and the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs programme is about boosting what is available.”

Mayor Brown hosted a local breakfast last week (9 February) to promote the programme to employers in the district, and about 90 people were in attendance. Guest speaker for the event was senior economist Brad Olsen, who talked about the opportunities and challenges ahead for the district.

“We know there is a shortage of labour in parts of our district and that there are young people out there who could do the work, given a chance and some training.

“Ideally, we’d like to hear from employers keen to take part and from young people also keen to be part of the programme.”

Mayor Brown said even helping someone get their driver licence was a step toward employment, especially in rural areas where people needed to travel to jobs.

The programme will be administered and managed by Council’s Economic Development team.

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