“We’re absolutely stoked to sign up to the pledge. We need people who can take us into the future,” John Later, National Talent Sourcing Manager, NZ Post.

 “It’s that passion that young people bring to your business that keeps your business alive,” Fabian Yukich, Executive Director, Villa Maria.

 “We take it really seriously that youth are the future for us,” Michael Boggs, Chief Executive Officer NZME.

This is just what some of the business said about their commitment to employing young people and signing the youth employer pledge.

The initiative is designed to help Auckland’s 23,000 young jobseekers and 15 more companies signed up at a special event hosted by The Warehouse recently (NZ Herald article here) bringing the total number of pledge partners to 51.

Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), who has lead this initiative has now delivered its Youth Employer Pledge Statement of Intent partner target.

The pledge signing event was hosted by Mayor Len Brown and means an even bigger commitment to tackling Auckland’s youth employment issue head-on.

“This is a significant milestone for our Youth Employment Plan and means employers are getting more and more of Auckland’s young talent into work and career pathways,” says Len Brown. “That is the key objective but it also means that at the same time young people are being employed we are easing the critical skill shortage in a number of sectors.”

The pledge partner initiative is part of the Tindall Foundation supported Auckland Council Youth Connections programme which since January 2015 has helped, directly or indirectly, more than 5000 young people become work ready and has unlocked more than 2000 job vacancies, filling nearly half of them.

“We really are making good progress and the momentum continues to build,” says Len Brown.  “We have an impressive list of Auckland’s biggest and best companies committed to a range of targets and activities and our young people are undoubtedly benefiting.”

Master of Ceremonies at the event, Patrick McVeigh from ATEED says, “What’s really pleasing for us is the concept of the employer pledge is something that ATEED has led from the outset and the team have done an outstanding job of engaging partners in the process.”

Some of Auckland’s largest employers are on board and between them, the pledge partners have committed to over 400 entry-level jobs and work experience opportunities.

Through the pledges, businesses commit to support industry and region-wide collaboration to get Auckland’s youthful talent in to jobs.  A construction/infrastructure industry careers campaign is in the pipeline, alongside a toolkit for SMEs recruiting young people and tips on workforce planning and diversity.

Theresa Rorason has led the development of the pledge partnerships and says, “Businesses are looking for practical support to get youth talent into their workforce and that’s what we’ve focused on delivering.”