Open for business — Dunedin skills hub launches
Published: Dec 9, 2020
More than 1500 people in the Otago region will benefit from a newly opened job and skills hub says Mark Cartwright, general manager of Workforce Central Dunedin.
The Workforce Central Dunedin team welcomed more than 50 members of the local community to the hub’s new premises to celebrate the official opening on 4 December 2020.
The project is supported by a $1.85 million investment managed by the Provincial Development Unit (PDU), and aims to address a skills gap in the Otago region.
"We aspire to be a conduit between the community and project contractors," says Mark.
"We help job-seekers onto upskilling and training pathways so they are able to take up employment opportunities. It means our major local contractors have a highly productive, engaged workforce available to them."
Initially, the hub will support training and recruitment efforts for the new Dunedin Hospital build. In the long-term, Mark says the hub will play a crucial role in workforce development within the wider sector.
"It's not just about the current job you’re in. Our workforce will be leaving the new Dunedin Hospital build with a qualification they did not have before. We are instrumental in providing wrap-around support and pastoral care to help our workers progress towards their own career goals," says Mark.
Although the hub officially opened in December, PDU support for the project has meant the Workforce Central Dunedin team could get out into the community early on to start building relationships with local employers and service providers.
"Through our community engagement work, we discovered that the young women studying at Queen's High School in South Dunedin didn't have access to wood-working classes. This poses a barrier for young women who want to pursue careers in the construction sector," says Mark.
"We are working with several sponsors including Naylor Love, Aukaha, BCITO and Otago Polytechnic, to build a shed on school grounds so that the students could access tools, training and further information about construction."
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