Three months after its launch, a local workforce programme has connected 19 young people with employment opportunities.
The Stratford District Council, in collaboration with the Mayors Task Force for Jobs (MTFJ), and Ministry of Social Development, received funding for the programme.
The funding supports both the employee and employer, allowing council to assist businesses with recruitment, training, guidance, and in some cases subsidies for small to medium-sized businesses.
The goal of the programme is to help 50 young people into meaningful work by June 2021.
Of the 19 young people employed, five of them are with Eltham engineering manufacturing business Carac Group.
Stratford District Council workforce co-ordinator Lisa Holland says she is pleased with the number of young people employed.
"It's great we are connecting them with meaningful employment."
She says Carac Group was one of the first businesses who joined the programme.
"They are incredible with supporting young people. We have provided them with safety gear, one of the young people with a forklift licence, and a wage subsidy for two young people who are receiving paid work experience."
Carac Group chief executive Sonia Kiser says the business joined the programme to support young people.
"It's what we're all about. It's been nice to support the young people into work. The programme has offered a large amount of support as well. Young people are lucky to have this support."
She recommends the programme for other businesses.
"It's been amazing and the support has been phenomenal."
Leith Reddick, 16, Cody Doherty, 18, Aidan Goble, 18, Joshua Hunt, 15, and Toby Nicholson, 17, were recently employed by Carac Group. Joshua and Toby are receiving paid work experience over the summer.
Sonia says she is proud of their work ethic.
"They're amazing. They're picking everything up quite well, they became part of the Carac family as soon as they started. The guys are very mature and have a great sense of safety awareness. They produce top quality products."
Leith has been with the company for a month.
"It's been awesome. I'm mainly drilling things and I've done a bit of welding as well."
Cody did work experience through the Gateway programme while he was at school.
"Through the workforce programme, I've received my forklift licence. I'm very appreciative to have it."
Aidan works at the business' powder coating plant in Inglewood.
"I really like this side of things. You can make it any colour with any finish."
Joshua enjoys working at Carac Group.
"It's great to be able to get the work experience over summer before high school starts again."
Toby Nicholls, 17, learned about the programme when Lisa visited Stratford High School.
"I'm getting paid work experience. The programme has given me the chance to get some hands-on experience."