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Source: New Zealand Government

The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.

“Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these three projects. Today’s funding will lay the groundwork for ongoing workforce planning and training in the region,” Shane Jones said.

“This investment will enable the growth of skilled workers in key sectors such as horticulture, forestry, apiculture, health and social services, agriculture and civil infrastructure.”

The three PGF investments announced today are:

  • Central Region Major Projects Skills Hub – $1.04 million
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa education, training and employment programme – $864,000
  • Tararua Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP) – $574,000

“The purpose of the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi – Pathway to Employment fund is to lift productivity potential in the regions by connecting local people to local employment opportunities,” Shane Jones said.

“PGF investment in these three programmes will mean jobseekers, underemployed workers and those looking to upskill will gain access to specialised training opportunities and pastoral care support,” Shane Jones said.

It also gives employers access to trained workers for their projects, maximising employment opportunities for local people.”

Funding of $1.04 million will be used to establish the Central Region Major Projects Skills Hub, a programme helping to provide large-scale infrastructure projects such as Te Ahu A Turanga – the Manawatū-Tararua highway with a skilled workforce.

Through its education, training and employment programme, Te Rūnanga o Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa will use $864,000 to help local providers to give training at the Rūnanga-owned site, Te Puna in Rangitīkei. The programme will have an initial focus on people who have lost their jobs due to the impacts of COVID-19.

The Tararua Rural Education Activities Programme will use $574,000 funding to co-ordinate training, job placement and employment opportunities for growth sectors in Tararua, including primary industries.

“These three programmes have the potential to significantly boost the financial wellbeing of Manawatū-Whanganui locals. I am pleased the PGF can support the aspirations of local communities,” Shane Jones said.