Youth with a ‘license to work’

License to Work Facilitators learning new communication skills. Supplied photo.

An Eastern Bay youth employment programme is expected to be a standout out success after attracting a full house of facilitators at a recent two-day training session.

The Youth Employability Programme - License to Work is a national programme co-designed by employers and educators.

By teaching seven core competencies for work, including self-management, resilience, problem solving and decision-making the programme is a solution an often-raised concern by local employers that young people lack the ‘soft skills' to get and keep a job.

Toi EDA workforce project manager, Barbara MacLennan, says she is excited to bring the programme to the Eastern Bay.

“The programme has been operating for three full years around the country now, with good results for employers and more than 1000 participating students who have both achieved their License to Work and improved their academic performance.

“Career LinkUp Eastern BoP is thrilled to bring the programme here, and set our own students on the same path.”

The recent License to Work Facilitator Training session held at Te Whare Wananga a Awanuiarangi attracted educators from across the region. 

The competencies are taught to students through interactive workshops as part of a school or tertiary programme.

Once rangatahi show confidence of their knowledge of soft skills, they practice them within a voluntary job suited to their interests for 10-20 hours and then in a real work placement for eight full days, or 80 hours.

“The supervisors in these organisations are supported to give the young people quality feedback on their soft skills, as well as on the tasks they are achieving,” says Barbara.

Licence to Work is one of a number of programmes facilitated by Career LinkUp Eastern BoP who are driven to forge stronger links between education and employment.

Establishment Board chair, Terry Collet says

“It's by working together that we'll really make a difference to the numbers of rangatahi and young people who successfully transition into work.”

This coming year will be a busy year with many local schools preparing to implement the License to Work with local communities and employers.

So far Opotiki College, Trident and Whakatane High Schools, Murupara Area School, Te Wharekura o Ruatoki and Te Kura o te Whanau a Apanui have planning in hand.

They will be selecting students keen to participate as the school year gets underway.


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