Tauranga City Council, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, has launched a pilot cadetship programme, Piki Ake (to ascend), to help reduce local youth unemployment and improve local social and economic wellbeing.
The 12-month programme will initially see four unemployed young people jump into an entry level role at Council on a fixed-term basis.
The programme will provide wrap-around support for cadets, with training in both work and life skills.
Sonia Appleby-Maine, Learning & Development Programme Manager at Tauranga City Council, says the programme is a win-win for everyone involved.
“We’re really excited to pilot the new cadetship programme – it’s a fantastic opportunity for these young people to kickstart their career while working locally. Council is the perfect training ground for cadets to develop a range of skills, knowledge and experience that are hugely relevant to a wide range of other jobs in the community,” she said.
“It’s also an incredible opportunity for Council. These young people have a fresh, unique perspective on the city and what they hope for its future which we can all learn from, and Council staff will also get some great leadership and mentorship opportunities.”
The cadets will work in roles across Council’s Libraries, Customer Services, and Takawaenga Māori Unit.
At completion of the programme, cadets will be equipped with more skills and confidence to transition out of Tauranga City Council and gain employment within another organisation or apply for a suitable position within Council.
“The value of the programme is huge for the cadets – it’s not only improving their employment opportunities, but there will be associated positive impact on their whānau and community. It also promotes more community knowledge of local government and job possibilities,” says Ms Appleby-Maine.
“While this is a 12-month pilot, we hope in time to expand this programme across wider Council activities.”
The cadetship is one strand of a broader employment pathways programme that the Council is implementing.
Council’s other initiative, Tauranga Moana Futures, focuses on local tertiary students gaining practical experiences in the form of project and team-based work to apply their academic study to.
The four Piki Ake cadets started their roles on Monday, 31 October.
To learn more about the programme, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/pikiake.