We are delighted with how successful the Youth Connections Across Auckland programme has been since it began in 2011. This innovative youth employment programme has connected with more than 1100 school leavers and has helped 500 young people to secure jobs, 160 of which are full-time positions. Thanks to Youth Connections, young Aucklanders are working in all sorts of fields from hotels to legal firms. There are 200 local employers committed to the programme.
The issue of youth unemployment, particularly in Auckland, is one of concern which is why we see this programme as critical. Auckland currently has around 34,000 young people who are not involved in education, employment or training. It is vital that we address this issue for the future of Auckland’s young people and for the social and economic development of the region.
Youth Connections’ vision is to have all young people either working and earning, or learning and training. Through a team of ‘Youth Connectors’ working across 10 Local Boards, young people are being connected with employers or with education and training opportunities in their area.
The Tindall Foundation, through our strategy goal of Youth Employment and Enterprise, has provided a donation of $710,000 toward the programme over the past two years. Our focus is on supporting local projects that help young people to gain employment with local employers, and which will lead to system change and sustainable outcomes for young people and employers.
Other partners financially supporting the initiative include, the Auckland Airport Community Trust, Hugh Green Foundation, Auckland Council and the Local Boards.
The Tindall Foundation has also been involved in engaging with employers. Our co-founder Stephen Tindall has delivered inspirational speeches to groups of employers at business breakfasts held by Local Boards. This has seen many employers come forward, interested in taking on local young people in their community.
We are committed to Youth Connections because we can see it is really working and making a life changing difference in our biggest city. We are currently looking to support Youth Connections with a further three-year donation, so that the programme can continue to expand. You can visit www.youthconnections.co.nz for more information about the programme.