Pro Features

Connecting youth and business

There’s plenty of youth looking for work says Hastings District Council social and youth development manager Dennise Elers, “they’ve just got to be given a chance”.

That’s what Orsborn Roadmarkers has done becoming one of the first local businesses to employ a Hastings youth from the council’s Youth Connectors programme.

Orsborn Roadmarkers  owners  Angela and Lucas Orsborn bought the family business two years ago and decided when the opportunity arose, they would   look to provide jobs to local youth. Their first Youth Connector employee Keanu has been such a success they’re keen to employ more youngsters.

Hastings District Council started the Youth Connector programme in 2017 and it was given a $460,000 funding boost last year from the Government tO build on its already successful Connector model programme, which connects employers, local youth and whanau.

Since then council has engaged with 89 youth with 45 going into work and two into training. The remainder are being mentored in the programme to link them to employers like Angela and Lucas.

“We have a workforce here now, we just need to do a bit of work with them to prepare them. It’s about giving them a chance.”

Angela and Lucas have been busy building up their business which over the years has painted road markings on nearly every road across the Central East Coast of the North lsland.

Angela says the y were keen to employ youth both as the business grew and when the time came replace retiring staff.

“We’ve heard about the Youth Connectors programme and decided to give Hastings District Council a call and it was a good decision,” Angela says.

As part of Youth Connectors, both parties – the employee and the employer are connected with the council’s Youth Connectors team.

Dennise says there is a strong emphasis on pastoral care, both in preparing youth for employment opportunities as well as follow ups once they’ve been placed in a job .

”We also offer this co the business to make it as easy as possible for them to give someone a chance,” she says.

Already you th have been placed with a good mi.” of businesses across Hastings from fencing firms, to horticulture businesses

as well as being placed in council managed facilities such as Splash Planet and the libraries.

“We get employee referrals from City Assist, community centres, Work and Income and we’re trying co strongly engage with local businesses.

“Business people are busy and sometimes they don’t have the time to provide support for a young potential employee.”

Based on the success with Keanu Angela and Lucas arc keen to employ more youth from the programme.

“Without a doubt, we would give other youngsters a chance and we’ve also referred Youth Connectors to other local businesses.