Auckland’s young people are our future leaders.
We want our young people to make positive choices about their future and to have the right information to make good life decisions. Young people are most successful when they have a purpose. Education, training and work offer that purpose.
If our young people get into trouble with the law, we want to help them get on the right track. For the small number of young people who are committing serious crimes, we’re taking action in an effort to stop them from becoming career criminals.
Getting a job is a daunting experience for anyone. When you are young and have limited work experience and few work-related skills, the task is much harder. We can help young people who need support to find the right job, or training to get the job they aspire to.
Youth Opportunities package
Times are hard for communities and their young people. The number of young people who don’t have a job is four times higher now than it was this time last year. The Government announced the Youth Opportunities package, working with employers and communities to find opportunities for 16 to 24-year-olds, to work, train or stay in education.
In 2009/2010 as part of the Youth Opportunities package we will:
- fund entry-level jobs for six months, to build experience and confidence
- make 3,000 places for young people to work on community projects
- create extra job training placements through industry partnerships
- expand the Limited Service Volunteer Scheme by an extra 1,250 places.
We know there are young people out there who just need a bit of help to get
into work and plan a career. Our partnership with the Auckland Chamber of Commerce on the Cadet MAX programme has been very successful. This cadet programme targets our young jobseekers, particularly those leaving Child, Youth and Family youth justice residences. It offers a mix of practical and theory training plus on-the-job work experience. After it finishes, the Chamber helps the cadets into work experience opportunities with its members.
In 2009/2010 we’ll help Auckland’s young people get jobs by:
- identifying young people who have lost apprenticeships through redundancy (and who have come to Work and Income for help) and prioritising their re-employment with employers willing to continue apprenticeships
- providing a targeted response to ensure young Māori and Pacific people exiting Limited Service Volunteers or Outward Bound and other related courses are supported toward their goals.
Getting young people to reach their potential
Lots of our young people are doing just fine. They know what path they want to take and have an idea of where they want to go in life. We can give these young people opportunities to participate in development activities and decision making.
Young people are more successful when they are engaged. Some need more help than others to find a meaningful activity that will keep them out of trouble. For young people who need help staying on the right path we have programmes that will help them to make good decisions.
Through programmes like Youth Transition Services (YTS) we’re providing the young people of the Auckland Region with opportunities to make informed decisions about school, training and work so they can build their wellbeing and independence.
We also run programmes that will help build self-esteem, leadership and decision-making skills in our young leaders. One example is the Youth Participation project.
Youth development projects
We are helping young Aucklanders engage with their communities through the Youth Action 4 Change (YA4C) scholarship programme and the SUSS-IT programme in Waitakere. The YA4C scholarship programme supports young people who have had direct experience of a youth-relevant social issue to develop a programme to help other young people. Young people can go to SUSS-IT to get information on a wide range of issues such as housing, budgeting, teenage parenting and health.
Over the next year we will extend the MyStudyLink online account service so students can assess their eligibility for most forms of support and apply for it online in one seamless process.
Twice a year we meet with students’ association and education provider representatives to plan for and debrief on peak-season (beginning and midyear) activities. This also gives us a chance to talk about new initiatives and operational and policy changes.
Getting young people on the right path
We provide intensive programmes for those young people who are already in the youth justice system, or who are very close to entering it.
In August 2009 the Prime Minister announced an expanded Fresh Start for Young Offenders programme, building on the youth justice announcements made earlier in the year. The aim of the programme is to stop young people from reoffending by helping young people involved in low-level offending to get back on track, by holding serious and persistent young offenders to account, and by addressing the root causes of offending.
Some of the initiatives, announced as part of Fresh Start for Young Offenders, include:
- structured community youth programmes for low-level young offenders
- participation in either community or residential court-ordered drug and alcohol programmes, parenting and mentoring programmes
- Youth Court-supervised camps and greater Youth Court powers
- Supervision with Activity Orders with extra places in a range of programmes that incorporate elements of military-style training
- military-style activity camps for serious young offenders.
Reducing gang participation
Building on our experience in Counties Manukau during 2008/2009 and on feedback from community representatives and agencies, we’ll implement targeted youth gang initiatives in other Auckland areas. We’ll monitor and evaluate the youth issues affecting those communities, and we’ll work with community providers on the most appropriate programmes for their specific needs.
In 2009/2010 we’ll work to reduce youth offending in Auckland by:
- bringing young offenders to account for their actions
- joining with the families of recidivist youth offenders to help them to change their behaviour
- holding Youth Court proceedings on the Manurewa Marae for young Māori offenders.
Reducing youth offending
We are helping young, male Māori offenders from Waitakere and their families through the Te Korowai programme. Run in conjunction with the Auckland Museum, Te Korowai targets serious, recidivist offenders and aims to bring them to account for their offending and to build their sense of cultural identity and belonging.