Young people’s social enterprise helping unemployed youth

Jobless young people are being given a chance to work in retail through a Hawke’s Bay social enterprise.

Jody Hamilton (pictured, left) who founded LIFT Youth Employment says the new initiative aims to connect with and help young people who want to work in retail or have entrepreneurial goals.

LIFT’s vision is for 100 percent youth employment for the Hawke’s Bay region.

Its target group is young people (16-24 years) and its goal is to help them into sustainable and fulfilling employment and self-employment.

One in five young people in Hawke’s Bay are neither in education, employment or training – the highest rate in the country.

LIFT’s new social enterprise will include a retail outlet, due to open on 3 August.

The shop will organised and managed entirely by unemployed youth, Hamilton says.

“The store in Napier CBD will allow young people to gain experience in a retail operation, which they can’t always get elsewhere, and give them an outlet to sell products they’re developing,” she says.

“We work with rangatahi to develop their business skills, knowledge and confidence through a proven business development approach.

“We’ve hired five unemployed young people to work as staff, who all have business ideas which we will work on with them.”

Locally designed woven flax goods, t-shirts, tea towels and more will make up the stores core products.

Shop coordinator Moana Hamilton-Neville will oversee the day to day proceedings of the new initiative.

Hamilton-Neville, 23, who previously trained as a facilitator on LIFT’s life skills course ‘Bounce’, is looking forward to the prospect of helping others like herself.

“I feel really lucky and excited to be able to work alongside creative and talented rangatahi in this region, as they achieve their dreams,” she says.

In addition to the shop, the LIFT Business – Creating Jobs, Creating Futures – will provide a hub for rangatahi to produce goods and develop technical skills. It will also include a training room to help with business development programmes.

The space will also feature activities available throughout the week, including waiata on Wednesdays, open performances on Thursdays and a fitness and wellbeing session on Fridays.

In the past two-and-a-half years, LIFT has worked with almost six hundred young people.


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