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Kapiti to Get Youth Work Ready
25 July, 2017
Bryan Gundersen says Work Ready Kapiti will help youth transition into work with the skills employers are looking for.

A not-for-profit initiative to help 16-25 year olds gain the skills required to secure local employment has been launched on the Kapiti Coast.

Work Ready Kapiti, a joint initiative between The Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce, The Kapiti Coast District Council and The Youth Employment Strategy Group, have brought together a range of experience and expertise to help build meaningful relationships between youth and local employers.

Strategy Group Spokesperson Bryan Gundersen says Work Ready Kapiti will help youth transition into work with the skills employers are looking for.

"We believe Kapiti will benefit socially and economically as a result of young employees being work ready and bringing fresh perspectives to our local businesses. We also see this as an opportunity for our local businesses to give these young people a strong foundation for the rest of their working lives."

Work Ready Kapiti has launched the Work Ready Passport Workbook where youth keep a record of a number of key skills needed to gain employment. This includes relevant work experience, academic achievements, understanding of health and safety, their ability to look after themselves and whether they hold a driver's license or have a bank account.

Julene Hope, Deputy Chair Kapiti Chamber of Commerce, says the workbook is a practical tool which has been designed to help employees and employers initiate a conversation around soft skills, and for youth to understand more about what employers are looking for.

"This is about building mutually beneficial relationships. The workbook aims to get employers and youth together to start having real conversations that can lead to meaningful relationships. There are many benefits to local businesses to hire our youth, not to mention the benefit to Kapiti as a whole."

Work Ready Kapiti has already started attracting big employers of Kapiti youth to participate in the initiative. Goodmans, Pak'nSave, and Jomp Hairdressing, are featured on the Work Ready Kapiti website to help show the range of careers available right here in Kapiti.

Deputy Principal at Otaki College, Hamish Wood, says it's important for youth to see that there are a range of opportunities available locally.

"Not all high schoolers will choose to go on to tertiary education. Many will choose local employment, as they want to actively participate in our society as soon as they leave school. It's important they are employment ready with the soft skills that employers are looking for."

Work Ready Kapiti will be hosting an event for employers considering hiring 16-25 year olds, and for youth interested in local employment in August. Details will be confirmed shortly.

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KC News: the Internet Newspaper for the Kapiti Coast