Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has welcomed the expansion of the 'Red Shirts in Community' programme that will see around 1000 young jobseekers will gain work experience and earn NCEA credits.
“It’s great to see MSD partner with The Warehouse to expand a programme which will enable around 1000 young Kiwis to gain valuable work experience,” said Mrs Tolley today.
“I’d like to thank The Warehouse for taking on a leadership role to help young Kiwis get a foot on the job ladder. This is one of the largest employer-led youth employment programmes in New Zealand, and we’d like to see other businesses take up similar initiatives.”
The Red Shirts in Community programme was piloted with 20 young jobseekers, aged 16-to-24, in Northland, Whanganui and Wellington.
It is targeted at young jobseekers with an interest in customer service roles.
“The pilot was first expanded earlier this year, and since then almost 250 young jobseekers have gone through the work readiness programme,” adds Mrs Tolley.
“Seventy per cent went on to gain employment within 91 days of their 15 day in-store experience – that’s a fantastic outcome.
“Feedback from participants has been positive. Not only do they learn new skills such as working in a team and communicating with customers, they also have to develop self-confidence and step out of their comfort zone.
“Participants receive training in customer service, communication skills, personal presentation, stock management, as well as credits towards a National Certificate in Retail. Work and Income provides support for jobseekers, and connects them with prospective employers.
“MSD and The Warehouse are now working together to develop a similar model for other large New Zealand employers so they can provide tailored programmes to help a range of jobseekers.”
Minister Tolley attended Monday’s launch of the expanded programme at The Warehouse in Lyall Bay, Wellington.