Funding boost helps launch new employment programme

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce has received funding to go towards establishing and running Bridges to Work – a programme to help locals of all ages and skill sets into employment.

Rotorua Trust, BayTrust and the Ministry of Social Development, have each granted the Chamber $37,500 to continue its work developing pathways to employment for the three distinct groups of unemployed in Rotorua – skilled/and or professional people, school leavers and MSD clients.

Bridges to Work will run alongside the Chamber of Commerce Cadet Max programme that is currently delivered in Rotorua twice a year, but will run continously and have a much broader scope.

The programme works with a Leading Employers Group to bring the Employer’s views and needs to the employment table. Separate sector-based mini expo events will be run with the Leading Employers at Employers’ work sites to give employees a targeted, up-close, look at opportunities for entering employment with Employers within each sector.

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Bryce Heard says “employers are under-represented at the employment discussion and this project aims to redress that in a systemised manner. It also aims to provide easier access for Employers to the pool of potential employees seeking work.”

“This is a kaupapa we believe in and want to grow. We are grateful Rotorua Trust also sees the value of supporting people into employment.”

Rotorua Trust Chairman Stewart Edward says this funding will help the Chamber to build on the existing work underway to help create a larger, more focused local initiative.

“Currently, the Chamber’s Cadet Max programme is run twice a year for two weeks. It is informal, but still has a 60 per cent success rate. Funding a broader, more locally-focused programme will allow the Chamber to help more people and meet specific Rotorua needs.

“The Chamber’s programme will not just target MSD clients, but also schools, technical institutes, skilled workers and the many good organisations working with employees.

“The ambition and scope of this programme will be a valuable asset to Rotorua, particularly in this current COVID-19 climate.”