Mayors Taskforce for Jobs continues support to businesses and young people

13 September 2022

Another successful year lies ahead as local businesses continue to get in behind the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) workforce programme in the Tararua District. Since starting in mid- 2020, 125 local businesses have joined to support 155 young people into employment. These successes have resulted in funding for a third year of MTFJ support.

MTFJ is a nationwide network of New Zealand’s Rural Mayors, all striving to reduce youth unemployment in their districts and connect businesses with staff who are committed to work.

Council Mayor Tracey Collis says: “The MTFJ workforce programme enables us to provide direct and meaningful support to our businesses and young people looking for work. It is hugely satisfying to see how many local businesses have rallied behind the programme, and to see how many young people have been helped into jobs. I am confident that this positive trend will continue this year.”

MTFJ workforce Coordinator, Fontayne Chase, plays a key role in the success of the programme, “The whole idea is to get our Rangatahi into employment and make sure that they stay in employment. We offer a range of support to make sure this happens. This includes funding for businesses, regular checking in to see how things are going, as well as mentoring and pastoral support for employees. Our aim is to build relationships with local businesses in order to create a stronger local workforce.”

Ross McLean (16 years old) is a MTFJ workforce participant and is undertaking an apprenticeship with Dart Auto Panel and Paint in Dannevirke. “I am happy to be placed here through the MTFJ. I love working on cars and I like the variety of work in the job. I am learning heaps, I have managed to fix a couple of dents, I am starting to learn welding and I am getting more confident to do some of the more tricky things. And I have bought myself a van and a Mazda MX5 which I am fixing up myself,” adds Ross with a smile.

Mike Schaare, the owner of Darts Auto Panel and Paint, says; “It’s always a gamble taking on a new employee, but I’m happy with Ross. He has had no issues fitting into our team and he is doing good work.” Mike adds that the MTFJ support has helped significantly to reduce the costs of taking on a new employee. “Among others, it has helped to put him through training, get his drivers licence, buy him tools needed for the trade, get him PPE gear and new boots.” Internal training has also been provided with MTFJ compensating the business for loss of work hours by co-workers.

There is funding available to those businesses wanting to employ via the programme. Please get in touch if you are interested in finding out more: