Kaitaia's new trade academy is SWEETAS

By Tepara Koti

A new trades academy will be launched next year called SWEETAS - "Students Without Education, Employment - Training, Achieving, Succeeding". It will provide students with training, education, and eventually employment for youth in Kaitaia.

The academy will focus on the construction, painting and decorating trades, running in partnership with NorthTEC.

When it opens, four cohorts will be established - two in building and construction, two for painting and decorating.

He Korowai Trust based in Kaitaia is rescuing dilapidated homes for SWEETAS students to learn their new skills on actual properties

The fully renovated homes will be added to He Korowai Trust’s emergency and affordable housing stock for families.

Ricky Houghton from He Korowai Trust said, "SWEETAS starts by offering skills, experience and stability to 17 to 24-year-olds here in the Far North, where they can study and train whilst staying connected to and supported by whānau.

That build-up of trust and confidence within our youth has the power to kick-start hope, interest and buy-in not just within the community but from further afield, with the potential to improve the socio-economic prosperity of the Far North."

The initiative is the latest project in He Korowai Trust's mission to improve the quality of life of whānau in the Far North.