More Northlanders will have access to alternative pathways to work through a Government investment of $2.2 million in regional education and skills training, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.
The money is to go on three skills training projects in the region to help integrate prisoners back into work; help young people with intellectual disabilities and/or high social needs into employment; and to train up to 25 people in collision repairs.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to New Zealand's economy, with the effects being felt hard in the regions. Our recovery will be driven, in large part, by the regions so it is imperative Northland businesses have a well-trained work force and locals have more ways to learn and upskill," Jones said.
"The $2.2m funding for Northland is part of a $12.2m investment, from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, to support a range of education, skills training, pre-employment and job pathway projects. Other regions receiving funding are Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Tairāwhiti, Hawke's Bay and Manawatū-Whanganui.
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The three Northland projects that will receive funding are:
● The KiwiRail prison programme will receive $640,000 for a programme to train and integrate around 20 prisoners back into the community through support, training, mentoring and manaaki tangata, plus support from their whānau, hapu and iwi.
● Taimahi Trust will receive a grant of $970,000 over two years for its Can-do Catering programme which will support 30 people aged 18-25 with intellectual disabilities and/or high social needs into employment in horticulture, hospitality and social care
● Smart Trade Solutions Ltd, an industry training provider, will receive an investment of $590,240 train up to 25 people in collision repairs.
"These projects will increase the number of people enrolled in PGF-funded skills and employment programmes nationwide from 11,090 announced last month to around 13,150," Jones said.
"Investing in skills and education for our people not only supports them, their family and whanau and their communities, it supports Northland businesses.
"Te Ara Mahi is just one of the many ways this Government is supporting the regions, from direct investment from the Provincial Growth Fund and through the $3 billion for shovel-ready infrastructure projects to funding for regional apprenticeships and worker redeployment."