$1.7mil allocated to youth in Hawke's Bay

$1.7mil in funding has been allocated to Hawke’s Bay over the course of two years to help rangatahi in the region with employment.

The funding will go towards four He Poutama Rangatahi initiatives, a programme aimed at tackling youth unemployment.

It'll support over 500 youth and local employers to develop pathways into jobs, education or training.

Employment Minister Willie Jackson says, “This is not a case of simply matching unemployed youth to available jobs.  Ensuring the necessary level of pastoral care to support our rangatahi and their whānau, on what is often a long road leading to employment, is critical.”

A portion of the funds will help youth gain driving qualifications and overcome any barriers that may stop them from being employed.

“We know that our rangatahi face a range of complex issues impacting confidence and ability which can act as a barrier to employment.  Overcoming each challenge, whether that's growing self-confidence, gaining a driver's license or completing a course is a significant achievement that we should all recognise and be proud of.”

The government will also contribute $258,000 to Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga's Takatū Youth Mentoring Programme to enable 140 rangatahi to gain driving qualifications, and the Hastings District Council will also receive $460,000 to improve their resources to build relationships between employers, local youth and whanau.

"A young person in employment is not only critical for the future prosperity of Aotearoa but is a positive role model for their whānau and to the tamariki that follow in their footsteps. Ensuring our rangatahi are supported into sustained employment strengthens our communities, improves living standards and reduces child poverty."