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There are currently 67 young people between the age of 18 and 24 years who are registered as unemployed in Marlborough. Another 45 teens aged 16-17 are not at school and not working.
There are also all the school leavers who will be joining that pool in the months ahead.
Mayor Alistair Sowman says this is a labour resource the region cannot afford to see wasted.
“Some of these young people could make the leap into the workforce with just a bit of help from the wider community,” he said.
There are ways that Marlborough employers can help.
Contractors and businesses could consider employing, training, and offering work experience opportunities to Marlborough youth.
The Council employs an apprentice gardener in its 9-member gardening team. Heremaia Pedersen is five months into a three-year course studying for his Level 4 Advanced Horticulturalist qualification.
More information about modern apprenticeship can be found on the Youth Employment page in the Our Community section of this website.
Another option is the Gateway Programme, which links senior students to business for training and employment. It’s a government-funded programme where a business gets to invest in young people by taking one on in a mentoring role, one day a week, to help ready them for a job. The cost to the employer is in time and energy – a funding formula enables the costs to the employers helping with these work placements to be reimbursed.
Mr Sowman also points to employers like Nelson Forests’ Kaituna Sawmill, which has two finalists in the Forest Industry Training and Education Council's national awards. One of them is a finalist in the modern apprenticeship of the year awards.
“Nelson Forests is an example of a locally-based industry that understands the business returns that are created by taking on young people for training,” he said.