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Fletcher Building has become Auckland Council’s first Youth Employment Pledge partner, joining the council in the Youth Employment Movement, which aims to assist the 23,000 young people in Auckland who are not in employment, training or education.

On November 4th, Fletcher Building Chief Executive Mark Adamson signed the pledge at the company’s Golden Bay Cement site on Auckland’s waterfront. The event was attended by Mayor Len Brown, Stephen Tindall, Patrick McVeigh from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and around 40 people from Fletchers, Auckland Council and Youth Connections.

The Youth Employment Pledge is supported by the Mayor and ATEED. It aims to confront youth unemployment head-on by working with business to employ youth and design other initiatives to address youth unemployment.

The Mayor unveiled a youth employment graffiti artwork created by 20-year-old Newman Tumata, a young Aucklander with a passion for graffiti art. This piece of art tells the story about a young Auckland person’s experience finding employment. It includes elements of typography and iconic Auckland symbols to paint a picture of the highs and lows of the journey. It was used on the pledge certification and will be used on a kite-mark to identify other employers who sign the pledge. Newman, who attended the event, believes the Youth Employment Movement is really important, and in particular advocates the benefits of hiring young people for their eagerness to learn and the energy they bring.

Mayor Len Brown thanked the Fletcher Building for its commitment to youth employment. “In Auckland 27 per cent of youth are not in employment. Youth unemployment is not just a social issue; it’s an economic and workforce development issue. By becoming our first employer to sign the pledge, Fletcher Building clearly understands the importance of youth employment.”

Fletcher Building’s Mark Adamson said signing the pledge was a logical decision. “Fletcher Building needs good people and we are passionate about working with people at the beginning of their career. We are committed to diversity and value the contribution young people can make to an organisation like ours.”

He said the company and its subsidiaries had a proud history of supporting young people. Fletcher Construction has offered graduate and summer internship programmes for engineering and surveying graduates for many decades. Winstone Aggregates has employed engineering and science graduates since 2003. This year, Fletcher Building launched a two-year Graduate Leadership Programme that will offer nine graduates employment in HR, finance, procurement, strategy and ITC roles. The first intake will join the company in 2015.

In addition, the Fletcher Building Foundation develops future talent through apprenticeships, cadetships, internships, work experience, mentoring and graduate programmes. Lily Jones and Mene Tamatea are two young people who have benefitted from Fletcher Building’s commitment to youth employment.

Mene Tamatea is a graduate of the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) programme that is offered by the Defence Force on behalf of Work and Income. She says the programme inspired her to get off the unemployment benefit and apply for jobs. She is now happily employed at Mico Albany.

“My store is one of the busiest in Auckland and I’ve learnt so much since I started working here. I love the people and the training I’ve received. I’d say to anyone on a benefit and feeling lost, you should do the LSV programme.”

Lily Jones is a Supply Chain Coordinator with Golden Bay Cement. While studying for a conjoint Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business degree at the University of Auckland she was mentored by Kate Daly, Fletcher Building’s Chief Executive Corporate Services. “Kate was so inspiring and I knew right away I wanted to start my career at Fletcher Building. After I graduated I went through the recruitment process and was lucky enough to get a role at Golden Bay Cement.”

She says her job involves distribution planning, inventory management and asset management. “Basically, I have to make sure we have enough cement in our service centres to meet demand. It pushes me to think outside the box.”

The Youth Employment Movement provides the framework and principles that now guide all of the council’s youth employment focused work. This includes the Youth Pledge and Youth Connections initiatives, both of which are supported by The Tindall Foundation.

To further support this work the council has led the creation of the Mayor’s Traction Hub. The Hub is an independent space for like-minded people, such as pledge partners to design solutions for overcoming the barriers to youth employment and to develop ways to improve or increase sustainable employment opportunities for Auckland’s young people.

For more information contact:

Shannon Huse CaldwellExternal Media ManagerFletcher Building 027 807 2933 Glyn JonesChief Press Secretary021 475 897