Governor General leaves Taumarunui impressed with youth trade training
The Governor General left Taumarunui impressed with the range of initiatives on offer after a three day tour of the King Country.
Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne were given a first-hand experience of trade training opportunities for youth.
A tour of the Taumarunui Trade Training Centre in Matapuna left a lasting impression she described as exciting.
Dame Reddy said it was exciting to see inspirational people and innovative business on her first visit to Taumarunui.
"Seeing interesting initiatives to help young people into jobs is exciting.
"Regional trips give us the opportunity to learn more about our country and to make connections.
"It helps to give us a sense of what you are doing."
Graduates ranging between the age of 16 and 23 study up to level 3 pre-apprenticeship unit standards.
The training centre is a joint initiative between Hinengakau Development Trust and the University College of Learning which is now into its fifth year.
The original founding member Graham Bell was still buzzing from the Governor General's visit.
"She thought it was wonderful we were working with youth and we're impacting on lives for positive careers.
"She really wanted one-on-one with the students. That's here aroha."
The success of the programme was proudly announced with 54 students graduating this year.
A "passport to work" process which helps students secure employment had Dame Reddy impressed with the courses high success rate.
"I saw a similar programme in Gisborne and the Police run it. It's fantastic and it's so important to get a job that drives us."
Employers from Land Protection Ltd also peaked the interest of the Governor General with their work around the district.
They cover 40,000ha each year to rid the district of pests and Dame Reddy was given a detailed account of working in tough bush terrain.
Members from the Sustainable Land Management Group met up with the Governor General at the council chambers.
Her visit also included lunch with the Rural Women at Laurens Lavender Farm , a Totara Walk at Pureora Forest and tour of the ginseng plantation in Benneydale.
- Stuff Nation