PGF funding combines with locals to give Tairāwhiti people a better future

Published: 30 October, 2019 · Updated: 1 December, 2020

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  • Gisborne/Tairāwhiti

Thanks to the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), and some hard working people and businesses on the ground, over 600 Tairāwhiti people now have a chance for a brighter future.

Parata Contracting employee, Te Rangi Marie Bartlett, standing next to work vehicle.

Te Rangi Marie Bartlett works for Parata Contracting and is one of the employees who has already benefitted from their workforce development programme.

A total of $5.2 million of funding from the PGF will support nine training and work skills programmes which will give 300 people access to work-related training and development and provide support to a further 300 people to gain their driver licences – a key step towards gaining work.

The investment has been made through the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi and He Poutama Rangatahi schemes. It will be used to not only support local people in their work aspirations, but also to solve labour supply issues for local businesses.

Five projects have been funded through Te Ara Mahi (TAM):

  • Tairāwhiti Road Transport – Recruitment and Training Project (Eastland Wood Council) - $999,000
  • GDL2Mahi (Tairāwhiti Rural Education Activities Programme) - $697,000
  • Kuru Contracting Workforce Development Project (Kuru Contracting) - $736,000
  • Parata Contracting Workforce Development - $731,311.40
  • Four Seasons Services Project - $940,228

and four projects have been funded by He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR):

  • Rangatahi Pathways to Trades (Gisborne Development Incorporated) - $425,000
  • Uawanui Cultural Nursery Training Project (Te-Aitanga-a-Hautiti Centre of Excellence Trust) - $564,000
  • Generation Programme (Eastland Wood Council) - $90,000*
  • ASET Poutama Rangatahi (Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust) - $63,000**

The Tairāwhiti Road Transport – Recruitment and Training Project will upskill almost 80 truck drivers to work in local Tairāwhiti industries, including road freight transport, forestry and agriculture.

Run by Tairāwhiti REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme), GDL2Mahi will use its funding to put people through their driving licence programme – ensuring they have one of the key qualifications for work. Over the past eight months they have helped more than 200 people get their restricted or full licenses. With the new funding they are aiming to help another 300 people get their licences as well as providing support to ensure they get meaningful work that they really enjoy.

The Kuru Contracting Workforce Development project will train 27 new employees and upskill 50 existing employees to meet labour shortages in the forestry and civic infrastructure sectors. Depending on the forestry or civic infrastructure pathway taken by trainees, qualifications gained could include a certificate in forestry operations, driver licence endorsements, or a certificate in quarry or traffic management supervision. The emphasis of the programme is on meeting immediate labour shortages and developing the leadership potential of the predominantly Māori workforce.

The Parata Contracting Workforce Development project is a two year civic infrastructure workforce development programme for 24 new employees, targeting new workers from Tolaga Bay up to Hicks Bay, and 15 existing employees. The programme will give the workers work-ready skills and enable the company to grow.

The Four Seasons Services Project is a two year horticulture training programme which will upskill 56 full time employees and will boost Tairāwhiti’s horticulture workforce capacity.

Rangatahi Pathways to Trades supports local rangatahi aged 20-24 to access industry-based apprenticeships, employment and further training, with a focus on the construction, engineering and automotive industries.

The Uawanui Cultural Nursery Training Project will give 28 rangatahi the opportunity to learn ecological restoration practices over two years while gaining qualifications from local education providers.

*Eastland Wood Council’s existing Generation Programme will support an additional 24 rangatahi aged 16-24 gain life and work skills including driving and literacy skills to support their transition into employment in the forestry sector.

**Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust’s Poutama Rangatahi Programme’s grant will help them meet a significant demand from rangatahi for their existing programme.