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LTW programme expanding

The Licence to Work (LTW) youth employability programme is off to a sprinting start this year with 105 students registered in the last month and 12 new Tairawhiti facilitators putting their hands up to be involved.

LTW is a cross-sector, business-led initiative designed to respond to business and industry concerns that young people may not be developing the employability skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

In its fourth year here now, LTW is designed for all young people aged 15 to 24 and is of particular benefit to those transitioning into the workforce directly from school or training, as well as those returning to the workforce.

Students learn what skills from their everyday life are “employability skills”, and how they can use them in a work environment.

‘'They also learn 10 elements of work readiness (work experience and work ethic),” said Trust Tairawhiti Licence to Work programme manager Karen Fenn.

“These skills will ensure they know how to get a job, do a job well and keep a job.''

Students earn validation of their learned skills from their facilitator and an employer who helps and supports them to build and assess these skills.

The programme, developed by COMET Auckland, has two roles that sit at Trust Tairawhiti — the LTW project manager and LTW programme co-ordinator Gill Higgins (co-funded by the trust and The Todd Foundation).

These roles give support and enable access for schools and youth providers to implement the LTW programme and run it independently for their students.

“To see the calibre of new facilitators coming on board and huge interest from students reflects the integrity and success of the programme,” Fenn said.

“It is not a tick-the-box or one-size-fits-all approach — it is young person-centred and relationship-focused, with many community contributors.

“Learning is a lifelong process and students are taught that one of their greatest skills is to continue to learn and improve.”

Lytton High School's John Ingram is a new facilitator this year and the picture above was taken at the school's mangopare (hammerhead shark) sculpture.

Mr Ingram said the mangopare symbolized “facing challenges with diligence, tenacity and determination”.

“It captures the essence of the Maori proverb ‘Kia mate ururoa, koi mate wheke', in other words to be like the shark not the octopus which surrenders at the first sign of difficulty or resistance.

“The students will have the ability not only to become employed but to sustain their employment.

“The students are ready to take on this challenge, ready to compete, to persevere like the shark,” he said.

The facilitators are preparing for an upskilling opportunity later this week to keep abreast of relevant industry and student's needs.

The Tairawhiti region's Licence To Work (LTW) facilitators, from left at back, are Trevor Crosby and Catherine Pardoe (Matapuna Training Centre), Darryl Dunn (Campion College) and Gill Higgins (Trust Tairawhiti LTW co-ordinator); and front from left, Karen Fenn (Trust Tairawhiti LTW project manager), Jo Graham (Gisborne Girls' High School), John Ingram (Lytton High School) and Sue Peard (Campion College). Absent are: Wayne Palmer (Ngata Memorial College), Cynthia Sidney (Tolaga Bay Area School) and Heather McIntyre (Te Karaka Area School), and more facilitators to still be confirmed. Picture by Liam Clayton