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Pleased about high job uptake

Nearly 400 people on the East Coast have been able to get back into work since May, the Ministry of Social Development says.

One initiative helping that is the Ministry of Social Development's Wheels, Tracks and Rollers pre-employment training scheme, which came to life after the transport industry identified a need for skilled drivers.

About 40 people are expected to complete the Wheels, Tracks and Rollers programme by the end of August.

Each intake supports 10 participants. Nineteen have completed their training and 17 graduates have been placed into work.

The course, part of the Tairawhiti Economic Support Package (TESP), includes first aid, traffic control management, practical work with machinery, health and safety training. The end result is a wheels, tracks and rollers qualification through EIT.

While initially aimed at helping displaced forestry workers, the scope of the TESP has been broadened to include all who have been affected by Covid-19, and aims to provide work and training for up to 300 people within the Tairawhiti region.

MSD regional commissioner Annie Aranui said the results had been pleasing.

“We are assisting thousands of people into work each month throughout Aotearoa.

“In May this year 394 came off benefit and into work on the East Coast.

“I want to acknowledge the success in delivering this training. It shows commitment in addressing our clients' needs through the growth and development of local jobseekers.”

Post-placement support is provided to newly employed staff by Turanga Ararau to make sure people are settling into their new work environment and have a long-term career pathway.

MSD was committed to helping clients into work by connecting employers with great people and delivering services that provide pathways to sustainable and meaningful employment and this initiative is addressing that.

Guy Allan, a trucking operator with extensive background in machinery and infrastructure, has been overseeing and co-ordinating the training programme.

“The success of the training and high job uptake shows how much the community is supporting those impacted by job displacement.

“It's a real community team effort from everyone; everybody coming together to make things happen for people and their families.”

Local employers who have taken people on fresh from their training have been impressed.

Contractors Cranswick Enterprises has employed six graduates.

Managing director Kim Cranswick said the training and qualifications they had received meant they were work-ready and able to hit the ground running.

“It's been great, and given them a great start.

”Now that they're with us, they will be working hard to gain their level three qualification in Civil Earthworks.

“Provincial Growth Funding from here will help us to do that,“ he said.

LEARNING NEW TRICKS: MSD Wheels, Tracks and Rollers training co-ordinator Guy Allan discussing all things health and safety with some of his crew. Picture by the Black Balloon