Pacific employment scheme launched

posted: 6:00 pm - 16th September 2016

MPP SENZ Event 160916 MedRes 4Following a successful pilot, Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has today launched Pacific Employment Support Services (PESS) at an event in Manukau.

PESS will help young pacific people in Auckland find sustainable employment, education or training opportunities.

“More than 1,400 young pacific people have benefitted from the service since it started, and 81.5% (1,160) of those taking part in the pilot were placed into work or training’” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“Over the next two years nearly a thousand more will receive support.”

“The Pacific Employment Support Service has been proven to work. PESS will provide young pacific Aucklanders with an opportunity to succeed professionally.”

“I met several young people today who took part in the pilot. Tua Tualima and Grace Tufaga both say PESS changed their lives and they now work fulltime in challenging careers.”

Four provider organisations have been selected to run the programme: SENZ and InWork were part of the pilot programme. The two new providers are Skills Update and Training Institute and Solomon Group.

“Our providers will motivate, train and match young people to jobs that best fit them - tailoring interventions such as career advice, coaching or interview skills.”

“One in four people born in Auckland are of pacific descent. Young pacific people are the future of the New Zealand workforce and helping them directly benefits the wider New Zealand economy’” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

In 2016, 11,200 Pacific youth aged 15 -24 were classified as NEET – Not involved in Employment, Education or Training. Of these, 5,979 young Pacific people are in Auckland.

PESS initially operated as a pilot over a four year period from 2010 to 2014 with a one year extension to 2015. Budget 2016 allocated PESS a total of $4.6 million to run the programme over a further four years. 

More information on PESS can be found here.