Topics: Employment, Youth

Employment opportunities for Northland youth

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

Close to 200 jobs are up for grabs for disadvantaged youth in Northland. The opportunity follows a deal between a local youth provider and Hubhaus, an international business that has only recently established itself in Northland.

Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai says the region is in need of employment and is praising the initiative which gives youth the opportunity to build these low-cost kit-set homes.

"If we can get young people trained in skills that are transferrable then that's a win-win.  Obviously, if they're producing homes really quickly then the demand is there and if we train these kids up and they get opportunities elsewhere or at home bingo."

Under the agreement that's been reached Hubhaus and youth provider Tokotoko Solutions the aim is to create 190 new jobs by January 2018.

Tokotoko Solutions Director Isopo Saamu says,  "This is huge its huge especially up here in Whangarei because it's not just about employment. It's the housing shortages that we have up here. Providing support for them while they're actually doing the mahi."

Hubhaus Operations Director Trent Nimmo says, "We just want to have something that will be sustainable in the longterm and actually help communities themselves.  So if we can bring down housing prices and start employing young people then all of a sudden New Zealand becomes a lot more affordable and essentially that just allows people to get out from under mum and dads roof before their thirty."

Eighty-seven percent of the Hubhaus kit-set homes are recycled materials and the homes are fully insulated and solar powered.  Its envisaged that staff will be certified to build the kit-set homes under the supervision of qualified tradespeople.

Saamu says, "We know from the mahi that we've been doing that in the initial four weeks it's the honeymoon period but it's after that first four weeks you know the grind starts to set in. That's when they really need support.  Quite often they don't have that, so we're looking to provide the support for these kids longterm."

The results of this deal should be apparent in a matter of months.