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Mahi for Youth – providing pathways to employment

dewald botha

This year marks five years since Council started its Mahi for Youth programme – designed to help our district’s young people into employment, education and training – and it’s going from strength to strength.

The programme came about in response to Hastings' (and wider Hawke's Bay's) high rate of youth Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs). Since its inception in 2017, the Mahi for Youth team has engaged with 744 rangatahi and placed 385 into sustainable employment or education. Read more about the Mahi for Youth and 19-year-old Dewald Botha, who’s found sustainable employment as a result of using the programme.

Dewald’s story

Dewald Botha, 19, was in a bit of a slump before he reached out to Mahi for Youth and found a new job and direction in life.

After leaving school a few weeks into Year 13, he found work on an orchard and did that for a couple of years, but things weren’t really working out for him. “I was sitting around and then heard about Mahi for Youth – the hardest thing was going into the pop-up in town, but they helped me so much from there.” Dewald sat down with one of the Youth Connectors and they had a bit of a chat and went over his CV.

From there they enrolled him into several courses – a forklift course, a first aid course, and a defensive driving course. “They were all for free, and I will be getting my full driver’s licence next month!” says Dewald.

About a month after he first went in, they heard about a job at Re-Source, a charity run by volunteers that collects donations of household, clothing and other items, and then redistributes them to others who need them. Now, eight months on, Dewald is working about 30 hours a week - driving the van, collecting and dropping off donations, and helping with the heavy lifting. He is also undertaking his Level 3 NCEA studies though Te Kura online school. 

“I’ve had some personal challenges but the team at Mahi for Youth were keen as to help, and this job is great, I feel like I’m helping people.”

Read more about the Mahi for Youth programme

1 April 2022

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