Placing youth where they want to be
Venturing into the work force can be a daunting concept for youth, but with the right support and ability to dive into what they’re interested in, it can be a great experience.
Meet Joni Howe, Business Recovery Co-ordinator at Hurunui District Council.
She says building a foundation of skills and connection creates a very capable young person who will be armed with the confidence to take on whatever career path they choose.
Joni works alongside Chris King on the Mayoral Taskforce For Jobs Fund (MTFJ), connecting local businesses with youth, to create sustainable opportunities for both parties.
“For me, it’s about building that confidence, that rapport. There is a lot of mentoring with this role that has worked really well.”
Joni has three daughters, two of whom are teenagers, and says the ability to help youth make connections outside their families is something she sees as a vital part of moving successfully into the workforce.
“It’s about them having someone to celebrate the wins with, and it’s really good to see the changes in these youth, it’s really rewarding.”
Joni’s job is also about setting them up for the wins.
“It’s giving youth the ability to get their foot in the door, develop sustainable skills and strive for financial independence.”
MTFJ provides local businesses with financial incentives to help youth with training and costs, which in turn they invest back into the business.
“Building skills and confidence, being mentors, it’s what it’s all about and it’s a really nice space for us to be part of.”
Joni says the support from local business has been great, and next year will be all about getting even more businesses, training opportunities and youth on board.
Ward Sherman and Rebecca Pugh run the Hurunui Youth Council (HYC) and Hurunui Youth Programme (HYP) area, which Joni says created great alignment.
“There’s so many different opportunities in different vocations, it’s a great community feel.”
Seeing the overall health and wellbeing of the youth grow as they gain confidence along their path to self-discovery thanks to local businesses, is an absolute highlight of Joni’s role.
“For us, it’s not just about putting numbers where they fit, it’s about putting youth where they want to be.”
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