News: Connecting rangatahi, education and the world of work


Connecting rangatahi, education and the world of work is the mission of LinkUp Eastern Bay of Plenty which Toi EDA launched recently. “The Vital Signs Report strongly reinforced what the local community told us last year” says Barbara MacLennan, Toi EDA’s Workforce Development Manager. “More connections between schools and industry are essential. Rangatahi and young people need lots of opportunities to linkup with a wide variety of work while they’re still at school. This informs their own aspirations and their visions for the future.”

The design of LinkUp resulted from a feasibility study with employers, schools and other stakeholders last year. All were keen for additional investment and support, so Toi EDA fundraised with all interested sectors to establish the new system. “We’re delighted to have Cindy Lee and Jennifer Manning joining the Toi EDA Workforce Development Team to spear-head LinkUp EBoP. They are passionate about rangatahi and young people succeeding and will lead a wide range of new initiatives in co-operation with schools, kura and industry”.

Toi EDA is already underway supporting the Youth Employability Programme License to Work, which four EBoP secondary schools and two kura plan to implement this year with their senior students. This development responds to the strong message from employers last year that commonly rangatahi and young people lack the soft skills essential to the workplace. “These are things like having a positive attitude, good communication and thinking skills, and ways of coping when things are hard, or go wrong” says Cindy, LinkUp’s new Regional Co-ordinator. The Programme can be woven into any curriculum area at school, or in post school programmes, and teaches the “soft skills” through workshops, voluntary experience and work experience with youth friendly employers.

The Team is busy meeting stakeholders and crafting a new programme of activities for 2018, and supporting initiatives like Cultivate your Career. “Working together across organisations and sectors is the key” says Barbara.

PHOTO – New Toi EDA LinkUp EBoP personnel Jennifer Manning and Cindy Lee with Workforce Manager Barbara MacLennan

For further information
Barbara MacLennan, Workforce Development Manager, Toi EDA