Buller Youthworks

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The colourful face of Buller Youthworks.

The Buller District Council set up Buller Youthworks as an independent trust to provide a valuable community asset for the region.


  • To increase youth employment while developing small businesses in Westport and the wider Buller region and to match young unemployed people with these new businesses.


  • From its purpose-built centre in the Buller District Council, Buller Youthworks runs a range of services for young people - assistance with Curriculum Vitae writing, career planning, interviewing skills, developing knowledge of work ethics, self confidence building and work experience job referrals.

    Job placement, and education and training referrals are key services offered.

    Services offered to employers include providing a job seeker database, initial interviews, apprenticeship management and subsidy information.

    The first informational meeting for Buller District employers has been held and others are planned. This successful forum created a social atmosphere where local business people could meet with representatives from Youthworks, Work and Income, Recruit West Coast, and the Buller District Council Economic Development Officer.

    In response to approaches from several young people, career advice has been provided at both the Youthworks office and at Buller High School and Inangahua College. The schools have allotted Youthworks weekly classroom time, and assistance has also been given to Work Experience students. Planning is underway for input into 2004 Gateway Programme, and an application is pending.

    Hire-a-Youth - A group of “at risk” young males aged 14-16 are offering their services to any community activity needing labour. They have already participated in several events with enthusiasm and an aptitude for hard work!

    Result: a clear improvement in behavioural and social skills.

    Apprenticeship Management has proved to be a highly successful Youthworks service. The organisation ensures that all current apprenticeships are being well-managed and are happy through ongoing liaisons with Skill New Zealand, Smart Careers Nelson, Tai Poutini Polytechnic Greymouth, Tertiary Education Commission and the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation Christchurch.

    Youthworks has joined with Buller REAP, Homebuilders, Child and Family Support Services and several other local groups to provide “one on one mentoring” with a programme similar to the “Big Brother Big Sister” system.

    This very successful system is currently in the beginning stages in the Buller District.


  • The Employment Catalyst in partnership with the Mayors Taskforce For Jobs approved $50,000 for the first year of development and operation and a further $50,000 has been granted for Year 2 to enable Buller Youthworks to continue to develop.


  • Statistics for the first nine months of operation are heartening:

    104 young people have asked for assistance.

    29 placed in full-time work.

    12 placed in apprenticeships.

    12 counselled to continue with further education/training

    15 engaged in work experience and/or after school jobs.

    11 are still at school but looking for work.

    16 unemployed young people registered with WINZ as job seekers are being assisted by Buller Youthworks.

    Areas of concern:

    Female Job Seekers:

    24 young women have registered with Buller Youthworks and none have been placed in a career or full-time employment. Seven have been placed in part-time work, while the other 17 are still at school while continuing to seek employment or have registered as unemployed. There is very little job training available, being limited to a beginning computer skills or basic Café Skills courses. To date, in the Buller area, it seems that young females themselves and the predominantly male-run businesses are not prepared to consider females as apprentices.

    Considerable time, energy and money needs to be spent finding solutions to this problem both for the young female job-seeker and for the whole community as the area is likely to lose its young male population (those with or without jobs) if the young women leave to seek work or training elsewhere.

    Transportation/Accommodation Issues:

    Both these issues need attention as Buller Youthworks develops its presence in the community. There is a lack of appropriate structured living accommodation for young people wishing to live in Westport, plus there is virtually no transport available from rural areas for those who wish to commute. Most young clients do not have driver’s licences or the money to obtain one.


    Informational Brochure (Buller Youthworks Services)

    Establish a Youth Monthly Newsletter (providing journalism training in conjunction with the Westport News)

    Young Entrepreneurs Project (assisting youth to develop their own ideas - Youthworks working with Youth Development and Economic Development Officer)

    Monthly Breakfast Meetings (For employers to meet local agencies)

    Establish a local Chamber of Commerce Chapter

    Set up Business Mentoring Programme

    Careers Advice in Schools (increase hours currently offered, and to younger age group)

    Mayors Taskforce for Jobs
    Work and Income NZ
    Mayors Discretionary Fund
    Buller District Council Community Liaison Officer
    Buller District Council Economic Development Officer
    Smart Careers, Nelson
    Skill New Zealand
    Tai Poutini Polytechnic, Greymouth
    Tertiary Education Commission
    Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation
    Buller REAP
    Child and Family Support Services.

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    District Council

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    Department of Work and Income

    Skill NZ
    Pukenga Aotearoa

    Skill New Zealand is a Crown Agency providing work-related education and training through a range of contracted providers.

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    Tai Poutini Polytechnic

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    Tertiary Education Commision

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    Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation

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    Buller REAP

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    Child and Family Support Services

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    “Buller Youthworks is a valuable community asset that is providing great assistance to the youth of the Buller district.
    The results so far, have exceeded our expectations, and have achieved a significant level of involvement with youth and business in a very short time.”
    Pat O'Dea, Mayor of Buller

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    Project Contacts

    Pat Barr-MacLeod
    PO Box 21 Westport
    phone 03 789 7709
    fax 03 789 7707