Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has received funding from the Government’s Provincial Development Unit to help the King Country recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
The $894,000 funding will enable Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to establish and run a work-readiness programme for people impacted by COVID-19 along with providing training opportunities for rangatahi not in employment, education or training.
The programme will provide more than 100 people with the skills to take up local opportunities in the construction or primary industries.
The Wānanga to Work programme is targeted at the Waitomo, Te Kuiti and Ōtorohanga areas and aims to help people attain meaningful employment and support economic development in the region.
Waitomo has been particularly hard hit by the collapse of the international tourism industry.
A portion of Tertiary Education Commission funding – likely to be around $226,900 over 24 months - will be directed towards this project to provide a range of industry responsive, locally delivered vocational tertiary provision.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Education, Te Puni Kōkiri, the Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Social Development, along with other organisations within the King Country.
The two-year project aims to support 110 displaced workers and rangatahi not in employment, education or training and participants will have the option of taking part in a week-long work readiness wānanga or initially a 12-week Building and Construction (pre-trades) Training Scheme. The Building and Construction programme may change to meet local and region skills demand.
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Te Taiurungi (chief executive) Te Ururoa Flavell says the programme will provide relief for a region hard hit by COVID-19.
“Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has a long history of working to improve the social and economic outcomes for all peoples and this funding will enable us to help those directly impacted by COVID-19, along with rangatahi who are not working or undertaking further training.“
“These programmes will directly benefit the King Country, a small district which has been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 due to the virtual collapse of the international tourism industry. Our head office is in Te Awamutu and many staff live in te Rohe Pōtae so we are acutely aware of the impact COVID-19 has had on this region.”