An innovative joint venture to address youth employment and create opportunities to develop meaningful career paths for Niuean youth has been announced by the Pacific Community (SPC), Crosspower New Zealand and the Government of Niue.
Youth@Work will begin in Niue in April with clear objectives to build young people’s skills, create vocational pathways, encourage internships and job placements, and develop stand-alone entrepreneurial businesses that can be run by students participating in the initiative.
Its expansion into Niue is made possible with generous support from The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in the United Kingdom.
There is solid Niuean Government policy support for addressing youth issues under the Niue National Youth Policy and Niue National Strategic Plan and a strong appetite across the country to improve youth opportunities.
Crosspower New Zealand will work in conjunction with Niue’s national agencies, schools, the local business community and volunteers to implement key aspects of the policy, and will partner with SPC to deliver a customised version of the successful Youth@Work initiative.
Niue’s scale and location means it has unique youth unemployment issues, specifically in the area of youth “retention”, and in motivating school leavers to find meaningful career paths and join the workforce to make a positive contribution to their island’s future.
On behalf of the Government of Niue, the Secretary of Government, Richard Hipa, welcomed this youth empowerment partnership with Crosspower New Zealand and SPC.
“Young people in Niue are often unable to find employment in their desired field of training, due to a lack of opportunity. Youth@Work is based around mentoring, training, job placement and youth entrepreneurship and business start-ups, so we believe youth employment opportunities in Niue will be strengthened by this partnership,” Mr Hipa said.
Youth@Work has been successfully operating since 2012 in Solomon Islands and, in addition to Niue, SPC is leading its expansion to Vanuatu and shortly to Papua New Guinea.
“Youth@Work has become a success story for the region. We’re committed to helping Niuean youth benefit from this wonderful initiative run by youth, for youth and with youth, so that they can meet their personal aspirations and participate in the development of Niue,” the Director-General of the Pacific Community, Colin Tukuitonga, said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Crosspower New Zealand, Martin Enright, said “Crosspower has been operating in South Auckland for almost 25 years to engage our young people, provide a range of club activities that help to build their skills, fitness, self-confidence and awareness of their heritage and provide mentoring and social support. Increasingly we are also delivering employment and vocational pathways and opportunities.
“Many of our former attendees have achieved great successes and they inspire new generations of kids in some of our poorest communities who would otherwise lack opportunities because of poverty, difficult living circumstances, violence and the many easy temptations of life at the margins.
“As a result of our lengthy experience working with young people, and our close relationships with Pacific communities, we’re delighted to be selected to assist SPC and support the Niuean Government to roll out a unique and customised Youth@Work programme in Niue,” Mr Enright said.
New technologies and innovative approaches will be used to create start-up businesses, Mr Enright added.
This focus on youth follows a visit to Niue in November 2015 by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmed Alhendawi, to take part in a High-level Dialogue on youth during the Pacific Community Conference.
Martin Enright, Chief Executive Officer, Crosspower New Zealand, [email protected], +64 210 832 6875
Julie Marks, Pacific Community Director of Communications, [email protected]
Angela Tuhipa, Government of Niue, [email protected]
Notes to editors:
Crosspower New Zealand is a social impact organisation working primarily with disadvantaged Pacific and Maori youth with its headquarters at Otara, South Auckland. Visit: www.crosspower.org.nz
The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. It is an international development organisation owned and governed by its 26 country and territory members.