Upper Hutt City Council is Keeping it REAL with second programme success

Upper Hutt City Council’s Keeping it REAL youth employment programme gives youth realistic, engaging, ambitious, and lifelong (REAL) opportunities.

After a successful first employment programme, Upper Hutt City Council and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) were pleased to provide a second programme to get young job seekers involved in their community and into meaningful employment and/or into further study.

14 young people aged 18-24 were accepted through initial interviews, and goal setting sessions. During their eight-week intensive course, participants learned skills and attitudes that employers say are essential for the workplace. These include having a positive attitude, resilience, and self-management. After developing CVs and cover letters, the young people practised interview skills in a two day intensive workshop. Participants were given the opportunity to gain their driver licences and were provided with practical budgeting advice. They were supported through personal hardships in an environment which was safe and addressed individual needs. Most importantly, young people on the Keeping it REAL programme grew in confidence.

Council staff, Ōrongomai Marae, local employers, and local youth health services all gave their time generously, in a truly collaborative way to support the programme.

“We’ve enjoyed being able to work with Upper Hutt City Council once again to support more young people into work, study and training. Partnerships between agencies are important in improving the lives of young people and we’re looking forward to continuing this in the new year”, says Ministry of Social Development Regional Commissioner, Louise Waaka.

Of the 14 young people who were accepted, eight are now employed, four have moved into study. One in particular, has managed to obtain a niche job which utilises his talents and passions. Community Development Team Leader, Sue Colville says “the programme facilitates the development of lifelong skills while encouraging people to achieve their personal goals and dreams.”

Participants shared their transformation and thanks for the positive effect Keeping it REAL has had on them. “Before coming on this programme I wasn’t really doing anything with my life or sure what to do. Through this programme I have found what I love, and I am now chasing my dreams!” says Logan Boys-Cheer. At the graduation, participants gave an outstanding performance — playing out the 7 employability skills and sharing a video of their eight weeks together.

Mayor Wayne Guppy presented graduating certificates at the end of the second course and commented, “young people are really wanting to achieve in life and we saw these young people engaging in the programme for the entire eight weeks knowing that every opportunity presented gave them a chance to move forward.”

There are two more intakes of Keeping it REAL scheduled for early next year. Council staff are looking forward to continuing their partnership with MSD to support young people in Upper Hutt.