Youth Employment

We all want young people in New Zealand to grow up in inclusive caring communities where they can not only contribute but thrive.

From 2014 to 2021 the Todd Foundation invested in community-led youth employment initiatives via four place-based local partnerships across New Zealand. The communities we supported were in Lower Hutt, Te Tairāwhiti, the Eastern Bay of Plenty and Taranaki.

The insights from this initiative continue to inform our work today. We now have a national level focus and support groups such as Youth Employability Aotearoa, the Driving Change Network and the Youth Enterprise Scheme.

In 2022 we released a learning report of this funding approach and case studies of the place based initiatives. Acknowledgements to all the amazing leaders in the community who make it all happen. Also a huge thanks to Kate McKegg and the team at The Knowledge Institute for partnering with us on this long-term learning journey. We hope you enjoy reading about these partnerships

"….[we] spend a lot of time and effort with employers to become ready to take on rangatahi… "

"Drivers Licensing is a perfect tangible outcome to build confidence; it’s a real-life step that everybody needs... every time a young person gets that, you can see that they feel genuinely motivated and inspired to do other things… the beauty is it’s something simple that can turn into something quite transformative…"

Whyora Taranaki

In 2019 the Foundation also supported Whyora, a collective youth pathways programme in Taranaki supporting greater numbers of young Māori into health and disability careers.    

Whyora work at multiple levels within the health system towards policy, practice, and culture change, so that more Māori are engaged and retained in the health workforce, proportionate to their population share, and on leadership development pathways, as influencers and decision-makers to help transform the system.

With a Māori values based approach, focused on Tuhononga (connections), Manaakitanga (support) and Umanga (meaningful and rewarding career pathways), they also work across the community, regionally and nationally and with diverse stakeholders including Iwi, government, funders, whānau, employers, and education providers.

Read more about our support for Whyora here

"…Communities hold, I believe, a lot of the solutions within themselves. If you go and ask them, let the ideas bubble up, there’d be stuff in there that’s really awesome.… communities are much smarter than what we think, and we have to let them come up with ideas to problems, they’re not all going to be good ideas but something in that mix will have some currency…"

Funding Youth Employability Today

In 2022 we are funding youth employment related initiatives at the national level. 

The Driving Change Network is a group of more than 390 groups and individuals working together to advocate for changes to the driver education and licensing system. For young New Zealanders, a driver's license is more than just a license to get on the road. It’s a license to get a job and to participate fully in society. The Todd Foundation support the network because they are creating change by addressing the social, economic and physical barriers preventing people from accessing driver education, training and licensing.

Youth Employability Aotearoa (YEA) is a collective of national and regional organisations and networks leading youth employability initiatives. They are working together to map, unite and support initiatives contributing to a shared vision: "By 2030, all rangatahi in Aotearoa will have the skills and confidence to thrive in the changing world of work, learning and life".

We are also a funder of the Young Enterprise Scheme which continues to offer enterprise experiences and opportunities to young New Zealanders.