Dale Williams, the chair of the Mayors’ Taskforce for jobs and also the Mayor of Otorahanga, presented an inspiring, passionate talk to a group of business men and women at a breakfast meeting held on 10 April at Bridgehouse Restaurant in Warkworth.
The event was hosted by Springboard Community Works and Rodney local Board
When Dale was elected Mayor of Otorahanga he had a situation where the major businesses were considering leaving the area because they were unable to find people to employ; the social issues of youth crime, graffti and vandalism were at an all time high; and then two weeks before Christmas two young people in separate areas committed suicides. Dale realized that something positive needed to be done and reasonably quickly so that the unemployed youth could add value and skills to the community in order for them and the community to survive.
Dale looked at the jobs available and worked backwards to see what skills and type of person was needed. Employers told him what work ethics and attitudes were required in order to work for their companies and if the youth had these, there would be employment. It was to be a win for the young person, the business owners, plus the community. The young man had a job where he was earning money and skills, had little travel costs as he lived locally, and as a result his self esteem and confidence grew. The businesses were able to train the youths to their standards, help the local community by having a stable workforce and the community gained as there was less crime as the young people were too busy and had developed a purpose in life.
Springboard using the ‘Future Works’ programme, working in conjunction with Youthline, NZ police and Mahurangi College, have a target to reduce youth unemployment in the Snells Beach and Warkworth area by 50% and reduce youth crime as a flow on effect. Young people need work to fulfill their potential and local businesses need capable workers so they can flourish. By partnering a stronger community can be built where every young person under 20 will be engaged in meaningful education, training or work. At every stage of the ‘Future Works’ programme there will be direct contact with the employer, the trainer and Youthline to ensure that each young person is on track.
As Dale Williams said, “A young person needs a routine, an income, (a job) and self esteem all at the same time in their life if they are to be a productive person.”