Mayors Taskforce for Jobs - Supporting local businesses to employ local youth

16 December 2022

“The MTFJ workforce programme has enabled many successful connections between local employers and those seeking work. It’s a win-win situation; young people who are not in education, employment or training, can register with the programme. So too can businesses who are in need of staff and who are ready to employ local youth.” - Mayor Tracey Collis

Shelby McLean, Apprentice at Déjà Vu Hair and Body:

Shelby is 17 years old and the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs is supporting her with a job at Déjà Vu Hair and Body in Dannevirke. She has worked with them since February and is completing her apprenticeship.

“I have always loved hair and beauty. After coming out of Dannevirke High I did a hair and beauty course. I decided to try work at Déjà Vu to get some practical experience. I liked it a lot. A friend told me about the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs and their support for young people like me to get started, and we were linked up.”

“The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs help has taken so much stress off me. There are a lot of costs involved in this line of work that people don’t realise. Among others it has helped me to buy a set of hairdressing scissors. These are expensive, between 400-1000 dollars for one pair. I will be needing all sorts of different scissors for different jobs, so that support has really helped me. I have also been helped to get proper shoes and clothing for my job.”

“At a hairdressing course I would not get the same hands-on experience as working on-site. Here, I am earning money while I am learning. I am in touch with clients daily which enables me to build a continuous relationship with them.”

Erin McCutcheon, Senior hair stylist and Déjà Vu owner:

“It is very difficult to find good staff, so it is great to have Mayors Taskforce for Jobs support. The financial support is also a huge bonus and takes a lot of pressure off us, and of course, Shelby.”

“With her increasing responsibilities in the salon, personal presentation and better work tools are paramount. This is no different than a worker on a construction site that has to have proper PPE and tools. She has been able to buy clothes and get her own scissors. You need the right gear for the job. A cheap pair of scissors can cause wrist issues and RSI. She is on her feet all day long, so proper footwear is absolutely necessary.”

“Shelby ‘s first year of training is all signed off and she is now on her second year of training. The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs compensates us for providing internal trainings to her. Since starting her work here, Shelby has really come out of her shell and has become far more confident. This shows in small things, she answers the phone in a confident manner and connects with people easier. Soft-skills are a very important part of this work, which you can only learn through hands-on work experience.”

Mayor Tracey Collis:

“Employing young people is good for business and good for the community, they are the future, and we need to invest in them. It will benefit both ways. It’s a win-win. Local young people attract clients through their whānau, friends and social network. It’s also a way to future-proof a business and good for the reputation of a business, especially in a small community such as ours.”

“However, leaving school to join the world of work can be a big step up for young people. Likewise, it can be a big step for businesses to take on somebody with little experience. The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

can help with this by removing some of the upfront costs and providing guidance and mentoring support.“

“Now we need to look into cementing the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs fulltime into our community. We had our Mayors Taskforce for Jobs pilot year last year. Following this, we have seen many successful employment examples around us, and we need more so that we can expand this programme. The more employers and young people that get on board, the stronger our case to make the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs a permanent feature in our district.”