A not-for-profit initiative to help 16-25 year olds gain the skills required to secure local employment has been launched on the Kāpiti Coast.
Work Ready Kāpiti, a joint initiative between The Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce, The Kāpiti Coast District Council and The Youth Employment Strategy Group, have brought together a range of experience and expertise to help build meaningful relationships between youth and local employers.
Strategy Group Spokesperson Bryan Gundersen says Work Ready Kāpiti will help youth transition into work with the skills employers are looking for.
“We believe Kāpiti will benefit socially and economically as a result of young employees being work ready and bringing fresh perspectives to our local businesses. We also see this as an opportunity for our local businesses to give these young people a strong foundation for the rest of their working lives.”
Work Ready Kāpiti has launched the Work Ready Passport Workbook where youth keep a record of a number of key skills needed to gain employment. This includes relevant work experience, academic achievements, understanding of health and safety, their ability to look after themselves and whether they hold a driver’s license or have a bank account.
Julene Hope, Deputy Chair Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce, says the workbook is a practical tool which has been designed to help employees and employers initiate a conversation around soft skills, and for youth to understand more about what employers are looking for.
“This is about building mutually beneficial relationships. The workbook aims to get employers and youth together to start having real conversations that can lead to meaningful relationships. There are many benefits to local businesses to hire our youth, not to mention the benefit to Kāpiti as a whole.”
Work Ready Kāpiti has already started attracting big employers of Kāpiti youth to participate in the initiative. Goodmans, Pak’nSave, and Jomp Hairdressing, are featured on the Work Ready Kāpiti website www.workreadykapiti.com to help show the range of careers available right here in Kāpiti.
Deputy Principal at Ōtaki College, Hamish Wood, says it’s important for youth to see that there are a range of opportunities available locally.
“Not all high schoolers will choose to go on to tertiary education. Many will choose local employment, as they want to actively participate in our society as soon as they leave school. It’s important they are employment ready with the soft skills that employers are looking for.”
Work Ready Kāpiti will be hosting an event for employers considering hiring 16-25 year olds, and for youth interested in local employment in August. Details will be confirmed shortly.