Hastings District Council’s ‘Mahi for Youth’ (Work for Youth) programme is going mobile, with a new caravan hitting the road taking the service to the community.

The programme focuses on the social wellbeing of the district’s young people (aged 16-24) who aren’t in employment, education or training (NEET). Since it launched in 2017, 253 rangatahi have been placed into sustainable employment, and the NEET rate has dropped from 17.4% in 2016 to 14.7% in 2020. 

Mahi for Youth aims to assist youth to become sustainably employed, set on a path to broaden future career prospects with increased confidence and financial independence.

The caravan, Te Waka Eke Noa enables the team to reach and connect with young people across the Hastings district, including in smaller villages and rural communities.

Hastings councillor Eileen Lawson says, “This caravan will become a focus for our youth, ensuring our Mahi for Youth team is accessible to young people who are looking to get into education and employment – including those who live rurally or are hard to reach”.

“It will be used to connect communities at events and community centres, and I look forward to seeing it in and around Hastings for many years to come,” she says.

A key component of the Mahi for Youth programme is the wraparound pastoral care that’s provided for rangatahi and their whānau, and the support that’s given to employers.

The programme is supported by MSD, MBIE, NZ Police, City Assist and the HBDHB, with the  Eastern and Central Community Trust and MBIE instrumental in helping HDC fund the caravan.

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