INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Service Invests In Waikato Youth Potential

Published: Thu 7 Jun 2007 06:16 AM
Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Youth Affairs
MP for Tainui
Media statement
New service invests in Waikato youth potential
A new service to help rangatahi transition from school to work or further training is an investment in the future of our rangatahi who have a lot to offer said Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta at the launch of the Waikato Youth Transition Service in Ngaruawahia today.
Nanaia Mahuta officially launched the new Waikato Youth Transition Service (YTS) which will be based in Ngaruawahia.
"We want to make sure that rangatahi reach their full potential. For that to happen we need to ensure that they have the necessary education and skills that will assist them to pursue a career or get a job."
The Minister said that while the service is based at the Ngaruawahia Community Centre, there will also be mobile youth workers working throughout the district.
The Waikato District YTS is the last of 14 to be launched as part of a national rollout. The service is funded by the Social Development Ministry and supported by the Waikato District Council.
"We know from evidence that rangatahi who are not engaged in school or training will miss out on opportunities later down the track and this should not be the case," said Nanaia Mahuta.
"YTS can help assist even more young people shift into training or employment, that's why we're supporting it. We've reached a milestone with more than 10,000 young people using Youth Transition Services nationwide. Of those, just over 4,000 (4,215) are still receiving services and 5,356 have received assistance and left the services."
Te Rehia Papesch, Regional Commissioner for Social Development, says the Waikato YTS presents an opportunity for Waikato youth to reach their full potential.
"The Ministry of Social Development's vision is an inclusive New Zealand where all people are able to participate in the social and economic life of their communities. The Youth Transition Services have been designed to ensure our young people are able to participate positively in their own futures, and the future of our country."
Waikato District Mayor Peter Harris said that it was difficult for young people today to withstand the pressures of temptation that are less than desirable, such as drugs and alcohol. "We are fortunate to have the funding to set up the YTS to assist our youth who need a helping hand," he said.

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