Everyone’s a winner in WaiYou! project


Last week I drove to Waimate to present WaiYou! to Rotary Waimate.

WaiYou! is that Rotary Oamaru-sponsored, Lotteries-funded and awesome Dunedin agency Firebrand-driven project that engages young people and local employers with work-readiness opportunities.

Try saying that aloud in one breath!

The core of the project is called YES [Youth Employment Success]. YES is a web-based tool that makes it easy for young people and local employers to connect.

YES is simple to explain. It goes like this.

Employer decides they want to help support local young people.

Employer ticks off anything they reckon they can offer (from a business walk to an apprenticeship – check out the list at youthemployer.nz – it’s pretty freakin’ awesome!).

Those offers go on the website with a bit of info about the business.

Young person goes on the website.

Young person checks out what’s on offer.

Young person likes an offer so clicks on a link to contact the employer.

Employer responds.

Meeting is set up.

Website sends a request for feedback.

Both reply.

Success is celebrated.

(Problems are dealt with.)

Job done.

Everyone’s a winner!

What’s more complicated to explain is the relationships and interrelationships of the people and organisations who’ve made this happen.

Those people include our mayors, our councils, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, our local high schools, their careers people and principals, private businesses, NGOs, ministries (education, social development, business innovation and employment), community groups (Oamaru Pacific Island, Tupu Aotearoa, Youth Centre etc.. ), service clubs (Lions and Rotary) and a bunch of individuals who give a . bit.

Look, I probably haven’t even mentioned everyone – it’s been years in the making … and it launches in September.

Lockdown got us thinking and lockdown got us talking. In our business community a whole host of people have been busy figuring out ways to support local and thrive local.

Local taxi helps out local tradie by delivering equipment and keeping the crew on the job.

Local Ministry of Social Development partners with local agency and local business to deliver a pop-up job shop (full details pending).

Meantime, my experience on supporting local in Waimate last week? I drove away with a promise of $10,000 towards the project’s costs and at least two more high-profile organisations ready to offer employment support for local young people.

It seems that working together is a surefire winner.

What collaboration are you working on?

  • Cara Tipping Smith is a director of The Business Hive

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