A new space to help connect Hastings youth with employment opportunities has opened in the CBD.

The pop-up, in the CBD mall on Heretaunga St West, was conceived as a way to get council's youth employment services out of council buildings, to make them more accessible and user friendly.

The project was officially opened on Friday, with Minister for Youth Peeni Henare and Minister for Employment Willie Jackson attending.

Jackson said Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst had put forward a passionate case about how local and central government could work together for the benefit of young people in the district.

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Youth Minister Peeni Henare, Employment Minister Willie Jackson, and Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst at the opening. Photo / Warren Buckland
Youth Minister Peeni Henare, Employment Minister Willie Jackson, and Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst at the opening. Photo / Warren Buckland

"We love to tautoko kaupapa like this that shows a total commitment to the community."

"It can be a challenge working out how to activate some of these young ones especially when they've had a dad or koro who was not working."

"It requires pastoral care and aroha – all of our rangatahi deserve a bit more support."

Hazlehurst said she was excited see the idea of a pop-up turn into reality.

Willie Jackson with students Princess Hokianga-Tonihi and Wayne Caccioppoli, who were helped into a course by HDC. Photo / Warren Buckland
Willie Jackson with students Princess Hokianga-Tonihi and Wayne Caccioppoli, who were helped into a course by HDC. Photo / Warren Buckland

"While our NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training) rate has fallen from 17 per cent to 11 per cent there are still a lot of our young people who need support whether it be with a CV, extra education or being connected to opportunities."

She said she was grateful to the businesses which provided opportunities for Hastings youth.

The venue, which will be open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday, will be a shared space, with council's partners and support agencies there to support young people into employment, education or training.

This support could be anything from helping a young person sign up to a course, helping a person to gain a drivers licence, to helping with job interview preparation.

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One partner who will be using the space is PurSuit, a service which offers people support for job interviews, including dress, confidence building and employment preparation.

Launched in 2017 by Moira McGarva-Ratapu, PurSuit has seen many success stories in helping people find employment, with 320 clients seen in the first 23 months of operation.

McGarva-Ratapu said the pop-up will enable more youth in Hastings to be prepared for jobs and attend job interviews with confidence through dressing and styling advice from PurSuit.