Young people from all communities have been disproportionately affected by the global recession. In a competitive labour market (often requiring skills and experience) young people are finding it increasingly difficult to get their first stable job. With the expansion of technology many of the traditional youth pathways to employment are in decline. With this knowledge, in 2014 the Todd Foundation reviewed its strategy on how best to support young people in their transition to employment. Based on what’s worked elsewhere, we see that successful approaches:
- offer continuing support for young people to be ‘work ready’ for a changing economy.
- ensure employers and communities are supported to be ‘youth ready’, and provide a clear system or pathway for young people transitioning from school to meaningful employment.
- respond to innovation and systems change – recognising future focused industries, including new, knowledge-based employment opportunities.
- utilise a whole of community youth to employment strategy (e.g. Mayors’ Task Force for Jobs model).
We believe that complex issues like youth employment will not be solved by any one organisation, but a collective group of key local leaders/stakeholders working together on a community youth to employment strategy are likely to be more successful. The three regions we are supporting in 2017 and 2018 include Te Tairawhiti, Eastern Bay of Plenty and Lower Hutt (Wellington).
At this stage we are not looking to expand this work into any other regions.