EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE: New Plymouth Mayor Claire Stewart and Jobs Research Trust trustee Rodger Smith sign a memorandum of partnership.
    MARK TAYLOR/The Daily News
    NP trust to help taskforce for jobs
    26 SEPTEMBER 2000

    The New Plymouth-based Jobs Research Trust has been chosen to advise the national Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs on how to lower unemployment.

    Yesterday New Plymouth District Mayor Claire Stewart, a Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs member, and Rodger Smith, a Jobs Research Trust trustee, signed a memorandum of partnership - the first formal agreement of support between the taskforce and a community group.

    The agreement gives the trust about an extra $80,000 a year.

    The Jobs Research Trust is a national charitable trust which develops and distributes information to help regions create more jobs and reduce unemployment.

    The 31 mayors on the taskforce have set two goals, the first being that no young person under 25 years old will be out of work or will instead be training by the year 2005, and by 2009 all people in the regions involved will have the opportunity to be in work or training.

    Jobs Research Trust New Plymouth trustee Vivian Hutchinson believed such goals were achievable and not-for-profit organisations could be the key.

    "I believe the job-rich areas of the future will emerge in two main sectors.

    The first sector contains the jobs that come from choosing to look after one another better.

    The second sector contains those jobs that come from choosing to look after the earth better.

    "Both these sectors are very rich in terms of job potential, and the skills to do these jobs are already held in abundance by unemployed New Zealanders.

    "With this in mind, I think we can do much more to open up the community and not-for-profit sector for new business and employment opportunities and we can target this work at unemployed young people," Mr Hutchinson said.

    He believed such initiatives could be funded by local community trusts which would top up the money available through Work and Income New Zealand subsidies to make wages in not-for-profit organisations more realistic.

    "The community and energy trusts are already putting a lot of money into the not-for-profit sector through their annual grants.

    By focusing a part of their grants towards employing young people in local not-for-profit work, they would be leveraging more social outcome for the same money," Mr Hutchinson said.

    The Jobs Research Trust publishes The Jobs Letter which, until recently, was only available to subscribers, but because of funding through the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs, the newsletter has been put on the Internet.

    "It's very important that councils get that information, which keeps them really up to date," Mrs Stewart said.

    Earlier this month Mrs Stewart was one of seven mayors who went to Wellington to launch a memorandum of understanding between the Mayors' Taskforce and the Government in an attempt to boost jobs in regions.