This morning The Tindall Foundation announced a further $1.85M over the next three years to expand Youth Connections Across Auckland. Stephen Tindall spoke to a group of business leaders, young people and government agencies about the importance of employing youth for the future of New Zealand.

Read more about the Mayor’s launch of the Youth Employment Traction Plan:

Youth Connecitons - Len Brown and SRT



Mayor launches bold new youth employment initiative

Mayor Len Brown today launched a game-changing and bold new approach to solving the city’s youth employment issue and is challenging more Auckland businesses to help.

One in five Aucklanders between the ages of 15 – 24 is unemployed, with one in four young Maori Aucklanders and one in three young Pacific Island Aucklanders not in education, employment or training.

The Mayor’s Youth Employment Traction Plan was launched at a summit attended by more than 100 key business leaders and young people and other stakeholders including government agencies.

“The traction plan shows a change and significant move forward in our thinking,” says Len Brown.

“In the past we thought it would be enough to encourage employers to give young people jobs as the socially responsible thing to do.  But that hasn’t been enough and it’s not sustainable.

“We now have insights into what employers need and want, so let’s give business leaders a real opportunity to leave a legacy of responsible leadership by nurturing young talent. Getting more young people into jobs will have both economic and social benefits for Auckland.

As part of the plan, Auckland Council and Auckland Tourism, Event and Economic Development (ATEED) will work with businesses, government, young people and other key stakeholders to develop solutions to employing young people.

The work will be coordinated by a new Traction Hub, currently being established in ATEED’s downtown office, will members will work together to design solutions and will take a practical, action focused approach to the issue.

“With aligned civic, business and community leadership, we can build a pool of talent  and skills that Auckland businesses needs now and in the future, and work towards removing the barriers between our young people and employment,” says Len Brown.

Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Michael Barnett (NZOM) was the summit’s MC and employers took part in a session to explore ways they could make a formal commitment or pledge to the youth employment issue.

The mayor used the summit platform to make a pledge on behalf of Auckland Council that it would increase its graduate programme from 17 young people this year to 50, and its cadetship programme from 10 to 20, in 2015.

The summit’s keynote speaker, Sir Stephen Tindall, took the opportunity to announce the Tindall Foundation’s continued support of council initiative Youth Connections Across Auckland with a $1.8m contribution over the next three years.

“We are delighted to be further supporting Youth Connections because we can see it really works,” said Sir Stephen. “It’s fantastic that more than 500 young people are now employed thanks to this programme.  We are investing in the future of Auckland’s young people and in the social and economic development of the region.”

Sir Stephen also said that from his many years in business he knows how important young people are to the workforce.

“In an ever-increasing technological world, tech-savvy and productive young people are a real asset to any business.  The current workforce is aging and employers need to think about how they will replace their retiring workers.  We have a large pool of talented young people and for our future business success we as employers need to be capturing and nurturing that talent.

Youth Connections is based on the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs ‘youth to work’ strategy,  working with young Aucklanders to ensure they have a plan and direction for their future that connects to the workforce requirements of local businesses.

A regional initiative, it is driven at a local level by local board and other champions.  The Mayor’s Youth Employment Traction Plan taps into and builds on the work already done by Youth Connections.

The summit, the first of several planned, was hosted by Vodafone and its General Manager of Human Resources, Jan Bibby, shared the company’s experience with Youth Connections and insights into its youth employment approach.