Mayors Taskforce For Jobs AGM Shows Power Of Local Response During Global Crisis


The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) AGM has provided a
bright spot in a tough year, as dozens of mayors,
councillors, young people, community and social groups
gathered on Friday to celebrate the Taskforce’s success in
cultivating hundreds of job opportunities across provincial
New Zealand.

Young people have been hit particularly
hard by the Covid crisis. Data from the Ministry of Social
Development shows a 65 per cent increase in young people
accessing Jobseeker Work Ready benefits over the last
year.

This has made the work of MTFJ even more vital,
as their agility, knowledge and proximity to local
communities and businesses has made them the ideal connector
between young people and jobs.

“There has never been
a more important time for the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.
When Covid hit, we knew it would be tough, and as Mayors we
are ideally positioned to help alleviate this by connecting
young people with employment opportunities,” said MTFJ
Chair and Ōtorohanga Mayor Max Baxter.

“Young
people are affected by this crisis more than any other
demographic, because they work entry level jobs within the
tourism, retail and hospitality sectors. They’re the first
to be let go in an economic downturn, as we’ve seen this
year.”

“AGM attendees heard from rangatahi whose
lives have been transformed through Outward Bound or the
Tuia Programme, as well as from mayors that have connected
their young people with local businesses and from principals
who have seen their students thrive.”

“We’ve
supported over 25 councils with trades graduations, to help
raise the profile of some of our most promising graduates,
and pushed hard for greater access to driver licencing
facilities in isolated communities.”

“To have so
many supporters in one room, and hear how MTFJ programmes
have made a real difference in their communities, and for
them to be so hungry for the next opportunity and keen to
engage, it really fuels us to keep going.”

This year
MTFJ has co-ordinated a range of programmes designed to
either find work for young people, or help development their
skills and confidence. These include the Community Recovery
Programme, a partnership between MTFJ and the Ministry for
Social Development (MSD). After a successful pilot with four
rural councils, the programme has now achieved over 300
employment outcomes to date across 18
councils.

“Every region has different industries,
demographics and employment challenges. The support and
resource from MSD has enabled local mayors to smash through
the red tape and connect over 300 jobseekers and
employers.”

“We’ve seen mayors holding MTFJ
speed dating for jobs events, going to schools, going to
employers, and just knocking doors down to connect people
with work and personal development
opportunities.”

“The programme has combined
central government’s resource with our mayors’
knowledge, relationships and experience on the ground, and
the result has been hundreds more people in
work.”

Other highlights for MTFJ have been a full
membership, with all 67 New Zealand mayors signing up to the
programme this year, and a partnership with Dot Loves Data,
who has provided Youth Employability Dashboards to all MTFJ
members, presenting regional data to allow councils to
better understand their local economic and emerging trends.
These are available on www.mayorstaskforceforjobs.co.nz.

“Getting
every single mayor on board is a huge endorsement for MTFJ,
and they’re running with the support and data we provide
to help them maximise the talent of their local
community,”

© Scoop Media

 



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