PGF boost for Tairawhiti skills growth

Wednesday 9 Oct 2019

A boost of $2.27 million was announced for locally-led Tairawhiti skills and employment projects in a joint statement from Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development and Hon Willie Jackson, Minister of Employment last Friday.

The Provincial Growth Fund will invest over $2.27 million to promote skills, training and employment in disadvantaged areas of Tairawhiti, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced.

“This funding from the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi (TAM) and He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) allocations means getting more people work-ready through the support of locally-led initiatives. We know this is essential for our regions to thrive and grow, which is a key priority for this Coalition Government,” Shane Jones said.

The projects receiving funding are:
Te Ara Mahi (TAM) projects:
• Tairawhiti Road Transport – Recruitment and Training Project (Eastland Wood Council) - $999,000
• GDL2Mahi (Tairawhiti Rural Education Activities Programme/REAP) - $697,000

He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) projects:
• Rangatahi Pathways to Trades (Gisborne Development Incorporated) - $425,000
• Generation Programme (Eastland Wood Council) - $90,000
• ASET Poutama Rangatahi (Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust) - $63,000

“These projects exemplify the purpose of Te Ara Mahi and He Poutama Rangatahi - to give regions the capability to support local people with skills, training and employment.”

“The funding announced for Tairawhiti Road Transport – Recruitment and Training Project will attract and upskill almost 80 truck drivers for local industries including road freight transport, forestry and agriculture. With the current shortage of drivers predicted to increase, this programme is vital to make sure the region has access to skilled labour, while also improving the employment prospects of local people.

“I have also announced support for GDL2Mahi, which tackles the lack of driver licencing more broadly in Tairawhiti. Run by Tairawhiti REAP, this funding will scale-up an existing programme and train 300 people in rural Tairawhiti over the next two years for restricted, defensive driving and full licences, meanwhile helping people find work,” Shane Jones said.

Minister for Employment Willie Jackson said the HPR funding announced today supports community initiatives to help solve community problems.

“Rangatahi Pathways to Trades will receive $425,000 to expand the programme’s support of local rangatahi aged 20-24, to help more into industry-based apprenticeships, employment and further training. With a focus on construction, engineering and automotive industries, this project will fuel major sectors in Tairawhiti with the right labour supply from local rangatahi who want a future career in the industry but need support to get started,” Willie Jackson said.

“We’re also seeing a number of HPR projects achieve early success and exceed anticipated demand. Eastland Wood Council will receive an additional $90,000 to support a further 24 rangatahi aged 16-24 through The Generation Programme, and add driver and literacy skills. Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust’s Poutama Rangatahi Programme will also receive a further $63,000 due to a significant increase in the demand from rangatahi.”

Support for worthy initiatives like these is another step towards reversing the neglect of our regions and their people, and I look forward to seeing what else these projects will achieve,” Willie Jackson said.


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