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Last modified: 26 Oct 2021 2:22pm

Three men in black jerseys labelled intern, in a kitchen mixing some food ready to cook

A new pilot programme is helping seven Selwyn young people blaze a new trail to work.

The group is taking part in the new Trailblazers internship, trying out roles at the Council and learning skills to help get work-ready.

Trailblazers is a partnership between the Council, Youth Pathways (Te Ara Rangatahi) and the Ministry of Social Development to support young people who are unemployed or working less than 30 hours a week.

The group will trial roles such as Duty Manager, Event Manager, Recreation Assistant, Library/ Customer Service Assistant and Programme Coordinator, and complete an additional 20 hours of practical experience in their area of interest.

Youth Pathways tutor Moses Faletolu says he has been impressed by the highly skilled, well-motivated group, mostly fresh out of university.

“We’re focusing on wellbeing and cultural wellbeing, learning their mihi and pepeha, setting goals and exploring their strengths. They’re a great group. They’ve all got a unique skill set they bring to the group and that mix makes the group pretty special.”

Intern Billy McDonald says he applied for Trailblazers as a good way to transition to work after completing his degree in Political Science and Sociology.

The work experience is very valuable at a time when a lot of people are moving roles and the job market is less certain due to the pandemic, he says.

“For the first six months of this year I had been job hunting. I was going up against a lot of people who were in their 30s and 40s with a lot of experience in other roles so an internship like this gives you a foothold. I can say I have had experience I wouldn’t have and apply for things I couldn’t have before.”