New coordinator for sweet life

By Liz Wylie

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Jason Shailer reckons Whanganui youth have massive potentional to make a sweet contribution to the region.
Jason Shailer reckons Whanganui youth have massive potentional to make a sweet contribution to the region.

Whanganui has a new advocate to assist young people in navigating their way from school to training and employment.

Jason Shailer is the coordinator of the 100% SWEET initiative launched in Whanganui by Mayor Annette Main in 2014.

Statistics for the Whanganui region are not too flash and there are 270 youth under 20 registered as NEET (Not in employment, education or training).

When young people were consulted about the project to reduce the number of NEET youth a Whanganui City College student came up with the name - 100% Sweet (Students in Wanganui, in Education, Employment and Training).

The aim of the project has been to bring local business, government agencies and educators together to help young people become happy, prosperous members of the local community.

Mr Shailer's appointment means that young people now have a key person to help them make the right connections.

The former police officer says he has done a lot of work with youth while community policing in places like Putararu and Tokoroa.

Of Ngati Raukawa iwi decent, Mr Shailer said Whanganui feels like home because it is his wife Charlotte's home town and he has spent a lot of time here with his family.

"I see a lot of possibilities for young people in Whanganui and if that massive potential within the young people can be harnessed it will make Whanganui a better place," he said.

"We have moved home with our two teenagers and one baby.

"Charlotte is a nurse and she is happy to be working at Whanganui Hospital."

During his first weeks in the coordinator role, Mr Shailer has been meeting with training providers and community support agencies to establish the right networks.

Mr Shailer will be based at the Youth Services Trust offices on Drews Ave and can be contacted at sweetwhanganui@gmail.com or by calling 021 0683057.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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