SHARE

The revolution is coming.

The kids are taking over the world and so are the machines.

The sky is falling and the baby boomers have sucked the life out of everyone’s future.

Or to quote a boomer mate of mine: “calm the farm”.

Young people revolt (sometimes in both senses of the word). True.

Increased automation is happening. Fact.

Conversely, baby boomers (and gen Xers) are deeply invested in their children’s and grandchildren’s futures.

You only have to ask one.

And that’s the key.

One on one, we all get along. It’s that “them” and “us” type thinking that chucks a spanner in the works.

So, let’s not do that. Let’s stop the intergenerational catastrophising and write a new story.

Introducing (drum roll please) a new local initiative; WaiYou!

WaiYou! has come out of the Work Ready Passport initiative with representatives from both Waitaki and Waimate District Councils, schools, businesses, business groups and community on both sides of the river.

As a group, we are operating under the Rotary Club of Oamaru’s charitable trust.

Our purpose is to write a better story about our youth and work.

Specifically, we want to change that old-people dialogue that says, “kids aren’t work ready”, because we can help them be ready (and if we’re honest, we were pretty useless at the beginning too).

Specifically, we want to change out the young-people dialogue that says “no-one will give me a chance” – because we can give them a chance (and we’ve been there – we could have wallpapered our bedrooms with rejection letters, back in the day).

WaiYou! is going to sponsor a local version of a programme called Youth Employment Success (YES).

YES is a gold-standard, multi award-winning programme that creates one-on-one youth-employer connections that changes lives.

We’re determined to bring it here – as fast as we can.

We’ll be fundraising.

We’ll need employers willing to mentor youth on board.

We’ll need parents and grandparents to show support.

Most of all, we’ll be showing youth we have some cool tools to help them, and they have greater options than they ever had before.

Commenting on the differences between baby boomers and younger generations this week, economist Brad Olsen said: “We need to rapidly shift our energy from blame to action”.

We welcome your interest. Now’s a great time to get in touch.

★ Cara Tipping Smith is the director of The Business Hive.