Young people want to be earning their own cash so they can treat themselves, save and travel but this means getting a job… sounds easy right, but is it?
Not for everyone. Some young people fall into a category called "NEET" (Not in education, employment, or training). When they're not engaged in school, tertiary or other support systems we tend to find them using Work and Income's "job seekers" support.
"I never wanted to jump on job seekers. I knew it would just make me lazy because I was already getting some type of income. I'm glad I didn't, because I jumped on the Whangārei Youth Service's Start programme and I now have skills and tools to support me in my current work," said Alaek, 16 years old.
Online job seeking is the go-to for young people while job hunting as it's quick, easy and accessible to browse potential career pathways or, fortunately for some, their whanau or friends are able to support with a part-time job.
A major barrier for young people is the question: Do you have reliable transport? This is asked in nearly every job application. Most young people are wanting a job to save up for their first car and rely on whanau members to support them with getting to and from places.
Some young people are suffering from mental illnesses that affect their ability to engage in sustainable employment confidently. Anxiety and depression are increasingly becoming one of the most challenging illnesses they are dealing with while trying to gain fulltime sustainable employment.
The disconnection between business professionals and young people is growing. Employers should ask questions and seek to understand a young person's situation to support them into employment.
Unhealthy living and/or social environments can prohibit young people from being at their best potential, mainly in terms of commitment or reliability. We should work with the community to take responsibility for supporting these young people to make positive changes in their lives.
Young people may not see this as an issue at the time. It's important to work together to find a resolution for both parties. Give them a chance because they are taking that one step closer to being independent and self-reliant, plus you'll make the world a better place.
Working with young people means learning new tricks and sharing your experience and knowledge with them.
Brendon Lewis, team lead of WYS Start shares: "We've found a company that is pro-active with working with us as well as the young person." This is great news, employers working alongside young people, with strong whanau commitments. As this can be challenging when committing to employment, being both open and understanding from each end can result in a resolution.
WYS Start Programme supports 15-24-year-old NEETs into sustainable employment by working with the young person, whanau and the employer.
Its specialty is in supporting young people who are not engaged with other providers or education to gain skills and the necessary tools to get into the employment they wish for, and continuing to support in the long-term.
• Anahera Pickering is community outreach co-ordinator at Whangārei Youth Space. She can be contacted at Anahera@youthspace.co.nz .