New skills help to put boot on the other foot
BREAKING NEWS REPORTER
Graduates of a six-week life-skills course at Trentham military base say they have more motivation and focus now than ever before.
Upper Hutt teenager Cameron Roberts is working full-time installing insulation for a company in Silverstream while Korotewhui Kuti, 19, of Naenae, is training at a deep-sea fishing school on the West Coast.
The two were beneficiaries before they attended the camp with about 80 other unemployed young people starting in mid-April.
The Limited Service Volunteer training camps are run at Trentham, Hobsonville and Burnham and are designed to encourage young people off the benefit and into work.
Mr Roberts, 19, said he was enjoying full-time work and would not have been able to do it without the training. "I got a job because of it. It taught me not to quit. I wouldn't have had the mental focus to do it otherwise."
The trainees were woken at dawn, seven days a week, and put through physical fitness training and schooled on budgeting, conflict resolution and anger management.
They faced disciplinary measures from their instructors if they stepped out of line and were restricted on the amount of junk food, cigarettes and alcohol they could consume.
Mr Roberts, who left school at 16 and spent years doing odd jobs, said he was enjoying the social and physical aspects of working full-time as well as the variety.
"It's fun. I like that I show up every day and there's always something to do. I don't get up every day and do the same thing. I'm sort of saving. It's sort of hard, though."
Mr Kuti is currently training in Westport. He hopes to get on to the fishing boats soon but, if he doesn't get the call-up, he wants to enlist with the army. "The camp taught me to put myself out there and show them what I got. I still miss that place."
From the April intake at Trentham, 98 per cent of those from the Wellington and East Coast regions have moved into employment or training. About 75 per cent of trainees from Taranaki have achieved the same outcome.
However, only 18 per cent of those from the central North Island are in work or training.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Is John Banks' upcoming trial the end for the ACT party?Related story: Banks takes only viable option