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    Local Employment Coordination
    Good practice

    from The Jobs Letter No.98 / 27 April 1999

    Researcher Vicki Wilde was asked by the LEC National Office to research and report on examples of "good practice" in the LEC groups to date. Her report on "Local Employment Co-ordination Spotlight on Good Practice"(1999) is available through your local LEC co-ordinator or WINZ.

    Wellington Central LEC Refugee and Migrant Directory
    The Central Wellington LEC identified a problem of service provision to local refugee and migrant people. The proportion of these people registered with the NZ Employment Service and looking for employment was increasing, and existing agencies were generally unable to meet their needs.

    A Refugee and Migrant Working Party was formed in December 1996, and the "Refugee and Migrant Training and Employment Directory for Wellington City" was seen as one way of starting to address the issues. The Directory included information about employment and training services and how to access them, and was designed for use by front-line staff. The process of completing the directory involved networking, information sharing and relationship building between staff of key agencies, many of whom did not know each other previously.

    Dunedin / Otago LEC Seamless Service to Business
    The Seamless Service to Business is another information kit designed for use by government, non-government and local body agencies. The kit is aimed at agencies providing development services to Dunedin businesses, and is intended to be a fingertip reference providing referrals. This kit is part of a broader Dunedin/Otago Employment Co-ordination group (DEC) goal to address service co-ordination and enhance business growth and development in Dunedin.

    Christchurch / North Canterbury LEC "Communityworks" Initative
    The "Communityworks" Initiative was a Christchurch Community Employment Initiative Group (CEIG) response to the coalition government's compulsory Community Work scheme. Christchurch has an enviable reputation for community, local government and government agencies working together to develop initiatives to address local employment issues.

    There were many successful employment groups already running in Christchurch. The "Communityworks" concept proposed co-ordination of 23 of these groups to collectively offer 500 community work and training places each year. This would provide a variety of projects across the fields of outdoor, sports and community from which participants could choose.

    The former manager of NZES, George Clark, being a member of the LEC, saw the potential in the "Communityworks" concept and he secured funding for the Wai Ora Trust to run a revised, and scaled-down "Communityworks" pilot. The pilot also secured the support of four separate sponsors Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) for co-ordination and training costs; Christchurch City Council for funding for community work placements in City Council units and parks; and one-off pilot grants from the Canterbury Development Corporation for overheads and counseling costs; and the Community Trust provided funding for tools and administration costs.

    Whangarei / Dargaville LEC Beautification Project
    The idea to carry out a beautification project in the Whangarei suburb of Otangarei was presented and discussed at the LEC with the intention of drawing on the skills, resources and contacts of the group to plan and implement it. The project involved a group of long-term unemployed men cleaning up the local Otangarei stream and surrounds. Wage subsidy and support was provided under the Taskforce Green programme with District Council backing.

    Otangarei is a community with a population of over 50% Maori, high unemployment, domestic violence and few services or jobs. The project and the context in which it was developed illustrates an holistic approach involving strategic planning and relationship building, effective use of skills and resources and strategic use of the media. The workers involved in the project have gained either full or part time employment and further employment opportunities for others are being planned possibly as a business venture.

    South Waikato / Tokoroa LEC Mangakino Youth and Community Project
    The LEC provided the initial forum to discuss youth, employment and wider community issues identified by representatives from the town of Mangakino and became the catalyst for strategic action. A series of Community Forums were held and a Mangakino Youth and Community Project Group formed. This resulted in the appointment of a Community Co-ordinator, whose job involved stimulating positive activity within the youth sector, developing community work programmes for the unemployed and working with the wider community to develop projects and events that would benefit Mangakino.

    The results achieved during the first 12 months include Community Taskforce projects undertaken in partnership between the Mangakino Community Agency and NZES; school holiday programmes; and a Sport/Activities Programme established in partnership with Sport Waikato developing and delivering a programme for unwaged adults.

    Christchurch / North Canterbury LEC Parents As Careers Educators Seminars
    The Parents as Careers Educators (PACE) seminar programme for Christchurch secondary schools developed as a result of a LEC strategic planning session. An education sub-group was established to address employment issues for youth. During their discussions, the sub-group identified young people making the transition from school to work as a major concern.

    Statistics indicate that mothers influence 90% of children's career choices. This belief that parents are very influential in their sons' and daughters' process of making career choices was also supported by "Project FAST", a contemporary New Zealand study that investigated the way senior secondary school students' thought about careers advice/guidance. Members of the group were also aware that parent/caregivers have different levels of knowledge, experience and access to information to help them in this process.

    The Career Services PACE seminar programme was adopted as one pro-active strategy to help parents/caregivers to help their sons and daughters with career planning. The seminars were delivered in the evenings for parents/caregivers and their teenage children. The costs of the seminars were met through joint funding by the school, the Canterbury Development Corporation, NZES and Income Support.

    South Waikato / Tokoroa LEC Youth Employment Skills Programme
    The LEC identified a problem of truancy and non-achievement amongst a growing number of 16-17 year old, 5th, 6th and 7th formers at both of Tokoroa's high schools. In an initial response, the Community Employment Adviser, Garry Towler, together with key teachers of both high schools organised a forum for these young people. The ideas from this forum lead to planning meetings with both high schools and the development of an alternative, employment-linked, school programme, delivered off-campus. The objective of the programme is to encourage youth in identifying, planning and progressing toward their career options and achieving nationally recognised qualifications. This is a joint venture between CEG, both high schools, the local education trust and a private training establishment.

    Wairoa Development Taskforce and LEC Marae Development Initiative
    According to the Wairoa Development Taskforce (WDT), there are 34 Marae in the Wairoa district, high unemployment and a lot of Maori owned land that is largely under-utilised. Many of the marae have no business base or management structure and the whanau/hapu have no plans for future development and are generally living day-to-day.

    The LEC has a mission statement about doing their best to assist the people of Wairoa, linking whanau, hapu and iwi and economic development. Members of the LEC and the wider WDT identified hapu and marae as a main focus for prospective job growth and economic development. The LEC and WDT have been working co-operatively with the hapu of three marae assisting them to create strategic plans for development leading toward employment.

    The LEC brought all the government agencies together so that help was available from the right people. They also developed agreed written protocols for this work, including commitment to transparent, accountable, action/results oriented processes amongst the different agencies involved. On this basis, personnel from different agencies were involved at different stages of the marae development process, depending on what skills, expertise and resources were needed and what was being developed.

    Wellington Maori LEC Mahi Maori Tuatahi
    The Wellington Maori Employment Co-ordination group (WMEC) initiated Mahi Maori Tuatahi as a strategy to assist registered unemployed Maori toward employment. WMEC is made up of representatives from key government and local government agencies, local Maori stakeholders and business leaders. It provides both co-ordination and support for Maori working in government departments, and a strategic overview and practical approach to potential solutions for local Maori employment issues.

    Mahi Maori Tuatahi was initiated in response to NZES client statistics showing that of the 2,000 registered unemployed Maori people in central Wellington, few were referred for career planning assistance. Also, staff from different government agencies who were part of the WMEC group, realised they were working with the same customers but were not themselves, working together to use their respective resources effectively. Mahi Maori Tuatahi involved WMEC group members working together on a planned and co-ordinated approach to offering career planning and follow-up.

    Tararua LEC Dannevirke Joint Training Initiative
    The Tararua Joint Training Initiative was inspired by the need to make affordable, employment-related training more accessible to Dannevirke High School students, registered unemployed people and other interested members of the Dannevirke Community. The idea originated from discussions between the Assistant Principal/Careers Counsellor of DHS and the Team Leader at NZES. The Tararua LEC group provided a broader forum in which to discuss the idea and gain support from key agencies to put it into action.

    An LEC Training sub-group was established which included DHS, NZES, Income Support and the Manawatu Polytechnic. This group developed and implemented two joint work skills training courses (caregivers/eldercare and forestry) for mixed groups of participants drawn from DHS, NZES and the community. A further course (childcare) involved only DHS students.

    Dunedin / Otago LEC Staff Network Agency Partnership TRAINING
    The Staff Network Agency Partnership (SNAP) training programme was an initiative developed by the Dunedin Employment Co-ordination Group (DEC). It involved front line staff from the NZES, Income Support, Community Employment Group, Inland Revenue, Workbridge and Youth Works from Dunedin City Council. The programme was designed for staff to gain a greater understanding of their customer needs, share information and knowledge and build on existing working relationships and networks.

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