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Youngsters looking to the future


Work happy: Cheyanne Benny with her employer Leg-Up Trust founder Ros Rowe and Caesar the horse.

The 17 young people placed into on-the-job training through The Rangatahi Ma, Kia Eke Youth Project have celebrated their success at a special function with family, friends and employees.

The programme is a partnership between Hastings District Council and the Ministry of Social Development which aims to help young people having difficulty finding work to gain work experience.

For 19-year-old Cheyanne Benny, working at the Leg-Up Trust has been a very positive experience. The charitable organisation uses interaction with horses to help disadvantaged youngsters from as young as seven suffering from social, behavioural or emotional problems.

Helping with the classes had given Cheyanne a lot more confidence, she said. “Especially working with the kids; communicating with them and working with the animals has taught me a lot.”

Getting together with other young workers for a celebration of their success was a great end to the year, she said.  “I enjoyed seeing some of the other young people who are taking part in the project.”

The participants were acknowledged by Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst. “Seeing these young people growing in confidence as a result of their employment roles is fantastic,” she said.

“Programmes like these are incredibly important on an individual level for these participants, helping them gain skills to make the most of their future.  They also help us on the way to improving our employment levels which is a goal of Matariki; the regional economic development strategy that has been put together by Hawke’s Bay’s councils and business, and central Government.”

In its first eight months of operation 17 people aged 16 to 24 have been placed within organisations for up to 30 hours a week for up to six months, to give them the opportunity to gain employment skills and experience through on-the-job training. The aim is to take that up to 25 placements.

The programme finds work experience positions that do not displace a worker and that have a community or environmental goal. Partner organisations include the Leg-Up Trust, Heretaunga Women’s Centre, Hastings SPCA and Mangateretere School.

Cheyanne had always wanted to work with animals, and had completed a year at EIT, studying animal care. Her day consisted of anything from moving hay bales, to helping with classes, to grooming and mucking out.

Her employer and chairperson of the trust which runs Leg-Up, Ros Rowe, said Cheyenne had become an important member of the team. “She really is happy doing whatever we need her to do and on the way we can see her developing into a really competent staff member. It has been a pleasure to have her here.”

13 December 2017

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