Job seekers

Youth-friendly employers help job seekers connect to the workplace

Blenheim employer Kylie Matthews said she wanted to help young people find their purpose and do something they really enjoy.

Scott Hammond / Stuff

Blenheim employer Kylie Matthews said she wanted to help young people find their purpose and do something they really enjoy.

Before starting her own business, Kylie Matthews worked as a social worker with at-risk youth.

“So I know firsthand how outcomes can be improved by engaging young people in education and employment,” she said.

That’s why Matthews raised his hand to become a Youth-Friendly Certified Employer by signing up for the Youth Employment Success (YES) program.

Funded by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), the community initiative helps young people aged 16 to 24 connect with local employers through a online platform.

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Matthews, co-founder of AWWA Rules Proof Underwear, said she has always been passionate about working with young people and giving them the opportunity to grow and thrive.

“I want to be able to share my knowledge and my passion with the next generation and hopefully be able to inspire and encourage them to find their purpose and do something they truly love,” she said. declared.

“It’s important that we support and encourage our future leaders and changemakers to find out what excites them and what excites them every morning.

“We can do this by giving them our time, showing them how a business works and, if possible, providing them with job opportunities.”

The department's regional commissioner for Nelson-Tasman, Marlborough and the West Coast, Craig Churchill, said that to be recognized as

SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

The department’s regional commissioner for Nelson-Tasman, Marlborough and the West Coast, Craig Churchill, said that to be recognized as “friends of young people”, employers must be able to provide support and opportunities for young people.

YES calls on employers to provide mentorship, employment, work experience, support and advice to young people to help them better understand the world of work, says MSD chief, regional commissioner south Craig Churchill.

Opportunities may include internships, paid or unpaid internships, employer presentations at school assemblies, skills assessments, NCEA assessments, resume reviews, coffee dates, mock interviews, mentoring, part-time or full-time work, company tours, career advice, work experience and job shadowing.

“The YES platform puts young people in direct contact with employers, building relationships and trust and encouraging young people to be part of the economic recovery we are working towards,” said Churchill.

Launched in Dunedin in 2016, the YES program was first launched in Marlborough last year.

About 130 Opportunities are currently offered on the YES platform by regional employers such as Port Marlborough.

Port Marlborough capacity manager Rose Prendeville said the program gave young people a good understanding of the opportunities available at the port. It has also broadened the community’s understanding of what the port has been doing, “and potentially brings young people to work for us sooner or later in their careers.”

Around 130 opportunities are currently offered on the YES platform by regional employers such as Port Marlborough.

SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

Around 130 opportunities are currently offered on the YES platform by regional employers such as Port Marlborough.

This year Port Marlborough has taken on a new mechanical engineering apprentice, a new engineering cadet and is working with a forestry student.

During the summer it also hosts university students for two engineering internships and about four or five marina interns.

“Young people bring a different perspective, and often they’re very instinctive and quite advanced in their understanding of technology,” Prendeville said.

“They bring the thirst to learn, and a very important aspect is that they give our existing staff the opportunity to mentor and pass on knowledge and skills.

“This is a win-win outcome that adds an extra dimension to the rewards our staff derive from their work here.”

Since 2016, Youth Employment Success has seen 112 businesses across the country volunteer their time and nearly 1,500 people apply for an online opportunity.

For more information, visit the website www.youthemployer.nz.