Council Working with Partners on Youth Employment
While unemployment is sitting between 5-6% or there about our youth unemployment can reach 25% and even higher in some ethnicities. Such high youth unemployment is bad for a city and a national economy as it leads to social ills including but not limited to crime. In the first Sunday BBQ post for 2015 I will be looking at a youth program that gears some of our youth the skills they will later need to fully participate in the work force and wider community.
In this post Auckland Council has partnered up with some businesses to help youth not only get in employment but also skills for further employment (think promotions) later on in their life.
From Auckland Council:
Auckland Council serving up exciting Youth Employment Pledge partners
Three of Auckland’s leading hospitality businesses and Auckland Council itself have signed pledges to further advance the council’s targeted effort to help the city’s 23,000 unemployed young Aucklanders.
A pledge signing event hosted by Mayor Len Brown saw InterContinental Hotels Group, SKYCITY Entertainment Group, Hilton Auckland and Auckland Council make a commitment to tackle their city’s youth employment issue head-on.
The signing formally recognised and acknowledged the employers’ collaborative efforts to date to improve employment opportunities, as well as those that will be made in the future.
Len Brown said he was very encouraged by Auckland’s major employers stepping up to sign up.
“With so many young Aucklanders currently not in employment, education or training (NEETs) there is a critical skill shortage in a number of sectors and as such we face a productivity crisis. We have to turn that around and with businesses such as these on board, as well as our first pledge partner Fletcher Building and the many yet to come, I am confident we can do just that.”
Pledge partners are attracted by the opportunities the council initiatives such as Youth Connections provide to overcome the barriers to youth employment and develop ways to equip the next generation with the right skills. Over the past two years Youth Connections has actively engaged with more than 600 businesses and 3000 young people and as a result more than 850 young people have got jobs.
Auckland Council Chief Executive Stephen Town said: “By signing our own youth employment pledge we are making the same commitments as every pledge partner, ensuring we can share in the journey and contribute as equal partners to discussions around best practice within our own organisation. We must walk our talk.”
Auckland Council has 16 graduates entering the second year of their programme with a further 41 starting next month, 22 summer interns, 11 cadets who joined the organisation in October last year and a further 30 places available this year. More Youth Employment Pledge partners are in the pipeline and council has set a target of 50 by the end of June this year.
Attending the pledge signing event, InterContinental Hotels Group Area General Manager Wim Ruepert, SKYCITY Entertainment Group CEO Nigel Morrison and Hilton Auckland General Manager Roger Brantsma spoke about their commitment to providing opportunities for young people and their desire to make a real difference.
Several young people employed by the businesses and an Auckland Council cadet also told their employment stories. At 23, Brie Murdoch is a Food and Beverage team leader at the Hilton where 19 year old Fynn Osborne Vaudrey is a banquet waiter. Nineteen-year old Cherie-Leigh Craig is a second year apprentice with SKYCITY. Malia Latu, aged 21, is a concierge at Crowne Plaza and Auckland Councils’ cadet, 23 year old Antonio Taulutoa is working on Youth Connections.
As part of the council’s youth employment work two youth employment summits have been held with a third, JobFest15, taking place on February 21 at MIT. JobFest15 is expected to attract 1000 work ready young people and 50 businesses with jobs to offer.
Some information on the partners in this partnership
InterContinental Hotels Group is the world’s largest hotel company with 4,704 hotels worldwide and 37 across Australasia, including five in New Zealand. In Auckland, IHG employs 320 colleagues across two hotels – Crowne Plaza Auckland in Albert St in the CBD and Holiday Inn Auckland Airport. Of these colleagues, 22 percent are between the ages of 18-24.
Founded in 1919 as the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to build upon its legacy of innovation by developing products and services to meet the needs of savvy global travellers at more than 550 hotels across six continents. Hilton is the stylish, forward-thinking global leader in hospitality with team members shaping experiences in which every guest feels cared for, valued and respected.
SKYCITY is the hub of entertainment in Auckland, with more than 20 restaurants and bars, two of New Zealand’s leading hotels, a world-class casino, convention centre and the iconic Sky Tower. SKYCITY is proud to be a leader in youth employment in Auckland. We are one of the city’s largest hospitality employers with 25% of our 3,500 Auckland-based staff aged between 18 – 24 years and we offer comprehensive training and apprentice programmes to foster successful careers.
Last year I was sceptical in Council embarking on a social scheme dealing with youth employment. My reasons are here: https://voakl.net/2014/04/10/youth-connect-our-youth-disconnect/