PESS initiative helps over 2200 Pacific youth
With the rapid growth of New Zealand’s Pacific population, creating Pacific employment opportunities and developing innovative business is a focus for the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP).
As a result,Employment and Entrepreneurship is one of MPPs’ key priorities.
For the past seven years, MPP has led the $4.6 million Pacific Employment Support Service (PESS) programme, which was delivered in the Auckland and Hamilton regions.
The programme, which has two more years remaining, is aimed at reducing the number of Pacific young people aged 15-29 who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET), and in the time it has been delivered, results of this initiative have been overwhelmingly positive.
Chief Executive of MPP Laulu Mac Leauanae says overall, the cumulative PESS programme results are quite impressive.
“We are delighted with the outcomes of the programme - it has helped over 2200 Pacific Youth and they have achieved over 1000 employment placements and over 700 training placements,” Laulu says.
With a focus on increasing Pacific income and wealth, and building Pacific leadership, PESS has assisted over 2240 young Pacific people in Auckland and Hamilton to find sustainable employment, education or training opportunities by working with four providers.
The four providers selected by MPP are InWork, SENZ, Skills Update, Training Institute and Solomon Group, and they have motivated, trained and matched young people to suitable jobs or education.
They have provided career advice, coaching and interview skills to help young people succeed in the workforce, with 1056 placed in employment.
Over 600 young people were employed continuously for six months, while 207 stayed in employment for one year.
Approximately half of the 12-month continuous employment outcomes were clients under-19 and half were 19 years and over.
Providers have also helped place 741 young people in workplace training, with 179 of those trainees gaining qualifications from their experience (training qualifications have only been measured since 2014-15).
Although the cost of the PESS programme was around $8 million, its long-term return in savings for the Government is estimated at $25.88 million.
“That’s a return of around three dollars for every dollar spent,” Laulu says.
“That’s an exceptionally high return on investment and something the PESS team has every reason to be proud of.”
The growing Pacific population is helping to shape New Zealand’s future, Laulu says.
“Initiatives such as PESS and the opportunities programme participants gain from it, allow Pacific communities to not only flourish, but to make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s economy,” he adds.
Check out some of the PESS success stories: