A local iwi is receiving more than $980,000 to help prepare rangatahi for employment.
Te Kāhui Maru will receive just over $980,000 through the He Poutama Rangatahi programme.
The funding will go towards the 17-week Tupu-ā-nuku Environmental Workforce Development training programme in Taranaki.
Te Kāhui Maru general manager Anaru Marshall says Te Kāhui Maru worked with the Department of Conservation to develop the programme. The course is funded by Te Uru Rakau and NorthTec.
Up to 60 local rangatahi will receive pre-employment training and help transitioning into work, self-employment or further education in the conservation or forestry sectors through the programme.
The forestry course is based in Stratford with Tree Machine contracted to provide training.
Over the 17 weeks the trainees complete 12 unit standards, focused on first aid, health and safety, chainsaw use and tree planting.
The programme also includes wraparound pastoral care and a kaupapa Māori approach to support the 60 participants reconnect to the whenua and their roles as kaitiaki.
Te Kāhui general manager Anaru Marshall says the programme is aimed at youth aged 16 to 24 years old.
"The focus is for rangatahi who are not in employment, education, or training. The benefit of the programme is teaching rangatahi skills needed to work in the sector and also prepares them for work."
Anaru says Te Kāhui Maru welcomes the support provided through the Provincial Growth Fund.
"The funding we have received is going towards employing people to be pastoral support for the trainees during the course and when the rangatahi are looking for employment. We also have funding support through MSD for pathways co-ordinators who underline a path for the rangatahi if they want to go into the course and are looking for employment in the forestry and conservation sectors. We can't wait to set it up."