JobFest promises good start to youngsters

Day-long Employers attended Expo on May 24

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Auckland, May 18, 2018

What involves 28,600 Auckland youth and has four letters?

NEET – those not in employment, education or training.

As at March 2018, 13.6% of 15-to-24-year-olds in Auckland were in the NEET category compared to the overall Auckland unemployment rate of only 4.5%.

Scarcity amidst plenty

NEET youth present an opportunity for Auckland employers seeking staff for entry level roles.

Last year, 46% of New Zealand businesses had trouble finding skilled labour and 27% with finding unskilled labour. Long-term skill shortages have been identified in a range of industries including agriculture, construction, engineering, trades and tourism.

Auckland’s construction sector alone estimated needing a further 28,000 new workers between 2016 and 2022, while the tourism and hospitality industry forecasted over 18,000 job openings by 2020.

From NEET to neat

To help address these issues, Auckland Council’s JobFest is, for the first time, collaborating with The New Zealand CareersExpo to support youth into the working world.

CareersExpo helps secondary students transition from school to work while JobFest focuses on youth out of school.

The two events run alongside each other at the ASB Showgrounds on Thursday, May 24, 2018 and are expected to attract around 5000 hopefuls.

JobFest is a particular opportunity for Maori and Pacific youth – who are over-represented in NEET stats – to connect with job opportunities, especially as employers are increasingly looking for diversity in their workforces.

Councillor hopeful

Richard Hills, Auckland Council’s youngest councillor and long-time supporter of JobFest, is passionate about the event and connecting with Auckland’s youth.

“Offering support now can have such a positive impact going forward. We need to value and appreciate our youth and it’s great to see JobFest doing that,” he said.

More than 40 employers will attend the event, including Fletcher Building, Fulton Hogan and Auckland Airport, all offering support and advice for those entering the job market.

And there are almost 1000 available jobs to fill.

Connecting with employers

Robyn Lentell of Youth Connections said that the event prioritises getting youth directly into available jobs.

“We have ensured that every employer at the event will have entry-level job vacancies, last year, almost 300 attendees walked away with jobs and we are expecting the number to be even higher this year.”

Vinesh Halai attended last year’s event and gained a position as a Junior Site Engineer at Dempsey Wood.

He is enthused about his experience and the difference JobFest made to his life.

“The event brings so many companies together under one roof. There’s a lot of one-to-one connection, which is perfect for someone looking for a job. My job means so much to me; it brings me confidence as an individual. For all the young people out there looking for a job, I want to say – don’t lose hope. There’s one job out there waiting for one person. You’ll find it,” he said.

The Youth Connections initiative is in partnership with ATEED and the Tindall Foundation.

Source: The Auckland Council

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Photo Caption:

  1. Councillor Richard Hill (right) at JobFest 2017
  2. An employer with a Jobseeker at JobFest 2017

(Pictures by Auckland Council)

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