Northland receives $3.8m investment in skills programme for unemployed youth

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced a $3.88 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund into a range of digital, work and life skills training for unemployed youth in the Northland region.

The three programmes funded are the NGEN Room of the He Puna Marama Trust worth $990,000; the Life Talk programme of the Kamo Driving School for $396,000; and the He Poutama Taitamariki employment and training programme for $2.5 million.

Collectively, these programmes will support over 800 young people, and aims to support young people, aged 15-24, who are not currently in employment, education, or training to overcome barriers to get them into work.

"Both NGEN Room and Life Talk have a digital technology focus. Northland has a number of young people with few or no qualifications, who are interested in the digital sector through gaming but lack basic coding skills or the motivation, confidence or networks required to pursue qualifications or employment in this area," Minister Jones said.

"NGEN Room is a 12-month digital technology programme for 16-24 year old rangatahi and combines life skills, NCEA credits (level 1-3), and work experience.

“Life Talk is a 12-week programme that builds digital skills within the context of broader life and work skills development, including driver licensing.”

"Additionally, the successful Northland pilot programme, He Poutama Taitamariki (HPT) will receive funding of $2.5 million from HPR to continue its work to improve employment and training outcomes for young people most at risk of long-term unemployment and poor social outcomes for another year,” the Minister added.

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