South Taranaki Star
Zero youth unemployment is an achievable goal for South Taranaki and the district mayor is working to make it happen.
With fewer than 100 people aged 17 to 24 not in employment or training, Ross Dunlop said the key to zero unemployment would be convincing employers that youngsters are worth the chance.
He has enlisted a steering group of community-minded individuals to ensure the numbers start dropping.
"The statistics are not that frightening, it's achievable," he said.
"We've got some pretty supportive employers out there that are taking on young people and giving them a go.
"It's about building on what is already happening," Mr Dunlop says.
He wants to see more employers getting involved.
The group is not just going to talk about unemployment and possible solutions, Mr Dunlop said, they are going to take action.
While some youth are not yet work-ready, Mr Dunlop says local training providers can help them reach the point.
The steering group includes employers from many different industries including engineering firms, Work and Income and retail businesses.
Employers Chamber of Commerce facilitator Ellen Titter has just begun working to get youth employment figures in South Taranaki down.
Her role is to look for opportunities to get people into apprenticeships and meaningful work.
"It's opportunities to get employed and stay employed," she said.
Ms Titter works from a growing database of potential employers and potential employees, matching them up to make long-term partnerships where possible. She helps find funding for employers and find apprenticeships to suit certain roles and provides support until the completion of the training.
"There are a lot of youth out there with a good attitude just waiting for a good working role," Ms Titter said.