Another deserving youth has been placed into the workforce thanks to Mayoral Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ).
Striving for a career in tourism, Leithfield local Lexi Smith, 23, was stopped in her tracks due to COVID-19.
After six months of study, prior to the pandemic, Lexi received her Level 4 Certificate in Flight Attending, Airline and Tourism from the New Zealand School of Tourism based in Christchurch.
Unfortunate timing forced her to push pause on her dream to work as a flight attendant, as she graduated right before lockdown.
Obstacles continued to arise for Lexi, struggling to find a job to tie her over until the tourism industry was back on its feet.
After receiving multiple pushbacks, Lexi found herself turning to The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) for support.
“Because I was applying for jobs during a pandemic, people with families or more experience were chosen over me. I understood this but it was still really hard, I was running out of options.”
After being with MSD for more than a year, Lexi was thrilled to join many other youths in MTFJ; a Government scheme connecting local businesses with youth, to create sustainable opportunities for both parties.
Around this time, Principal of Broomfield School Andrew Kemp heard a rumour about the Government scheme and reached out to Chris King and Joni Howe, Business Recovery Advisors at the Hurunui District Council.
“I was really keen to get in touch, I thought that MTFJ could be really useful for us here at Broomfield School.”
Chris and Joni thought Lexi seemed like a perfect fit for Broomfield School, and after a couple of weeks, had her set to start work as a teacher aid.
Thoroughly enjoying her new role, Lexi felt she is in her element working with children aged five and six.
“I really love this job; I can see it becoming a promising career option because I am really good with kids.”
Andrew has only great things to say about Lexi being part of the Broomfield School team.
“She is very proactive and seems to be really interested in the role. Staff have taken her under their wing which is great to see, she is fitting in really well.”
He plans to help Lexi grow in the role, helping to prepare her for future career prospects.
“We are going to train her up in other areas so she can cover other teacher aides. I am glad we have beneficial training opportunities lined up for her,” he said.
Reflecting on the first stages of her MTFJ journey, Lexi was grateful to be introduced to others who were in similar situations.
“I met some of the other youth who are doing the programme and I was able to relate to their struggles, it was nice to be around others who understand how hard it can be to find sustainable employment.”
Knowing a struggling youth himself, Andrew saw the opportunity to get his son Beau, 18, on board with MTFJ, grateful that he is yet another youth successfully placed in sustainable work.
“MTFJ is really worthwhile, a great chance to get youth into work… it is good for local businesses to know what opportunities are available to them,” he said.
Lexi had similar feelings about the programme, thankful to not only have a job, but a second career option.
“The support I have received is amazing, I am so happy to have been a part of such a great programme.”
If you are a local business or know a youth who would be interested in joining this venture, please contact Joni or Chris at HDC, 03 3148816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org