Forum to promote youth opportunities

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Two events will be held next week as part of a project aimed at giving youth education and work opportunities to encourage them to stay in North Otago.

The events, organised by Safer Waitaki, are a follow-on from the successful Bridging the Gaps forum held in April with the aim of helping youth in the area.

A youth forum will be held at the Brydone Hotel on Monday, October 20 from 4pm-6pm followed by the Bridging the Gaps forum on Tuesday, October 21 at the Oamaru Opera House.\

The forum on Tuesday will be again be facilitated by Dr Stuart Middleton from the Manakau Institute of Technology and he will be joined by Dr Pam O’Connell of Cognition Education and Pathways Plus.

Waitaki District Council community safety & development facilitator and Safer Waitaki coordinator Helen Algar said the aim of these events is to work together as a community to provide choices for young people wanting to stay in the Waitaki District.

“It’s so that young people who do wish to stay here to study and work have that option.”

There were several goals that were set at the previous forum after gaps, challenges and opportunities were identified and they will be followed up at Tuesday’s event.

“The first Bridging the Gap forum focused primarily on transitions across education and the development of a connected set of pathways for learners to support life-long learning and successful outcomes,” she said.

“We wish to inform organisations of the progress that has been made towards those goals and also to identify a sustainable future pathway.”

The youth forum has been made possible with support from the Waitaki District Council Youth Council and is designed to gather the views of youth about what it means to live, work and play in the Waitaki district.

Youth Council chairperson Jessie Waite said they were expecting about 50 young people ranging in age from 16 to 24 participating in the forum.

“The age range will give students and employed youth an opportunity to have their say.

“We genuinely want to know what young people experience living and working here and what would make a difference for them.”

The outcomes of both events will be progressed through the Safer Waitaki Coalition.