We asked Jo and Maxine in Marlborough whether YEP’s 2022–2023 priorities align with the wider sector’s priorities and are useful. Here’s what they had to say….
Advocating for greater investment in the Youth Education sector and financial sustainability for providers
There is a greater need around advocacy for longer-term funding for providers. As our youth emerge out of covid lockdowns this has become even more critical with the rising need is for additional programmes and mahi to be done, not less due to lack of funding.
Our young people’s mental health awareness and engagement is vital to get rangatahi ready to enter the workforce. To do this, providers need to advocate the importance of developing and supporting this future workforce and addressing their immediate needs.
The Government can’t fix a problem if they are not addressing the issue. Though the focus on employment is excellent, the soft skills learnt through YEP is where our rangatahi will build confidence and receive help dealing with issues now, ensuring these don’t become roadblocks later.
Prioritise the building of rangatahi voice into our policies and practices
It is essential that rangatahi voices are central to change. This requires creating a platform to deliver their message and an understanding of where to direct this information and advocacy.
Through the creation of a YEP module, we could provide insight into how to address change and build a group of rangatahi across New Zealand who can connect into parliamentary policies and practices. In turn this would create an empowered viewpoint from a group that is confident to speak up and be heard about issues directly impacting them and the changes that must be made.
Give focus to increasing the value of the YEP whānau, increased connecting and sharing
Our YEP whānau is exceptionally passionate, with different regions creating success stories in many ways. Increased knowledge sharing could be achieved through the provision of more networking opportunities.
This provides powerful forums to discuss different tactics and achievements and brings a more combined voice and focus to overcoming challenges and taking up opportunities.
Prioritise our focus on diversity, inclusion and cultural capability
An important discussion and education element of the programme, the opportunity exists to develop and build on the diversity modules. We must widen the discussion to include cultural, disability, gender and LGBTQ diversity.
Through these discussions we look to provide information, awareness and tools on how to deal with this in the workplace and outline what is (and is not) acceptable behaviour. It’s about creating a safe environment for these discussions to take place in and delivering the soft skills on how to deal with them in the workplace.