Employment Minister Willie Jackson: Up to 2,000 young people to get support into training and apprenticeships

Opinion 22/08/2019

At home, unmotivated, doing nothing, going nowhere and most days spent in bed. This was how Tipene described his life before he started on his employment journey.

As is often the case, it was his mum who told him wasn’t to sit around the house all day. So down to the local Work and Income office he went.

Through this interaction, he was sent down to Scott McCabe, a local employer in Edgecumbe, to do some work experience at his timber solutions yard, Tunnicliffes.

Tipene began to feel motivated and was starting to see how, through work, his future could be different - but his work experience was drawing to an end. Where would he get another opportunity?

Around this time, the Government had released Mana in Mahi: Strength in Work, a programme aimed at small to medium sized employers to help them take on our young people, create opportunities, and guide them through a workplace qualification - all while they are earning.

In return, Mana in Mahi, offers an employment subsidy for one year and funding for things like pastoral care, to help make the relationship between employee and employer a positive one.

Scott McCabe of Tuninicliffe Timber signed on to become a Mana in Mahi employer, and Tipene became the first Mana in Mahi participant in the Bay of Plenty.

Now, Tipene is working and has enrolled to start his qualifications. His confidence has improved, his mental health is better, and his whānau are proud of him for the hard work he is putting in.

Mana in Mahi is Tipene’s story. It is the story of all the young people out there who are lost, unmotivated and disconnected.

We’ve expanded Mana in Mahi to up to 2,000 people. That’s 2,000 young people like Tipene who will have the opportunity to gain the skills and experience they need to get into a meaningful career. They also no longer need to be on a benefit to apply – because our young people shouldn’t have to be exposed to the welfare system to get support.

As a Government, we want to help businesses grow by providing a pathway to skilled labour. As a community, we want all the Tipene’s out there to be engaged and have the chance to fulfil their full potential. Mana in Mahi does both.