Update from our Todd Employment Unit

Our Todd Employment Unit is funded by the Todd Foundation. The unit is made up of young people seeking employment who need support and guidance to move into the work force. We develop an individualised plan with each young person and coordinate counselling, mentoring, confidence building, health changes, up-skilling and work experience as needed. Our staff who facilitate this unit have a range of diverse skills and experiences to ensure the holistic needs of the young people are addressed.

We have many young people come to us who are seeking employment but need help to get them going in the right direction, sometimes they have a few ideas but aren’t sure which direction to take and other times they need support to explore the opportunities to see what appeals to them. Sometimes literacy and numeracy barriers are identified so we take steps to ensure these needs are met, this will look different depending on the individual.

We currently have ten young people in the unit each undertaking their individualised plans. Take James* for example, he is tossing up whether to pursue a career as a musician or a builder. We developed a plan for James so he is able to gain experience in both these industries. Throughout the process we also provide one on one mentoring and support to enable James to make a decision about what pathway he wants to take. Another example is Susan*, she came to us seeking employment but unsure where to start. One on one mentoring helped Susan explore what was important to her and what she was interested in. After a couple of sessions Susan realised a career in the NZDF was something she wanted to pursue. To support this decision, we work closely with Susan to develop a plan to ensure she is ready in every way possible to achieve this goal. The plan includes; supporting Susan to obtain her full drivers licence – including driving lessons and practice with a timeline to sitting her full licence, developing a fitness and well-being plan – including eating, exercise and rest. We are also working with another young man Jon* who just missed out on University entrance this year. We are working one on one with him so hopefully with additional academic support he will achieve the level required and attend University in the second semester.

A recent project was undertaken with Parry Builders. Our young people worked alongside an experienced builder to complete jobs in the wider Wellington region. We were pleased to receive such great feedback “The boys have been a pleasure to work with. Hardworking, polite and willing to learn. Having extra sets of hands through the fencing installation process has made my life so much easier and I would not hesitate to get them on board to work with me again. Thanks so much Challenge 2000 for providing some real champions to help me out” – Kelvyn Parry, Director of Parry Homes. Check out the photos below, great work by our young people!

We are fortunate enough to have significant partnership relationships with a diverse number of employers/businesses who are willing to take on our young people and provide work experience and part or full-time employment. These connections allow our young people to gain relevant work stills and to try out jobs in an adult way – an essential part of the transition to employment and adulthood.

A huge thanks to the Todd Foundation for supporting us to help our young people to gain the necessary skills, attitude and experience to build their aspirations and obtain fulfilling employment.

*Not their real names