Success Story - Mitre 10 MEGA

Youth 2 Work Success Stories

Mitre 10 MEGA youth ambassadors step up

Youth ambassadors from Mana College have been a great hit at Mitre 10 MEGA Porirua. Nine students gave up their weekends during May, June and early July 2017 to volunteer in the store and gain some hands-on experience.

Working with checkout operators, the students offered a friendly face to customers and helped with bagging up items and taking them to customers’ vehicles, as well as doing whatever else they were asked.

Store Manager Darren Milburn says Mitre 10 MEGA Porirua had worked on a couple of smaller projects with the Youth 2 Work Movement, but decided to formalise its involvement by becoming a partner late last year.

Darren says he then took his Youth Ambassador Programme concept to the Youth 2 Work team and together they turned it into something that could work.  

“I had an idea that I thought would be of benefit to young people trying to get into the workforce; not everyone chooses or wants to go to uni. We have a lot of aspects to our business, from trade to retail, kitchen design and management and the list goes on. What better way to decide your career than seeing it in action? This programme brings our community together, as people from all walks of life interact over their purchase or work experiences at Mitre 10 MEGA.  

Darren says the Youth 2 Work team loved the concept, and suggested pairing up with Mana College.

“We ran a full process with the students who were interested in becoming youth ambassadors. Each of them needed to put together a CV then come for a job interview, and we gave them feedback. We took on everyone who was interested. We gave them the same induction and basic training package that we give all our employees. Then on the days they were working we paired them up with our team members. Checkout operators would have a student each and they were also working with our supervisors and managers. Giving people a chance, an opportunity, just that foot in the door, is how you build a great team, pleasant atmosphere and loyalty within our business.”

The Mitre 10 MEGA team is now doing a written reference for everyone who completed the programme and is offering two places at the store through Mana College’s Gateway Programme. The two successful students will also be able to work towards a Level 2 Retail ITO qualification.

(The Gateway Programme enables schools to provide senior students with opportunities to access structured workplace learning.)

Darren says this will make the students even more employable. “If a role comes up with us they can apply for it, but they will also be more employable to other retailers.”

Darren says the partnership with the Youth 2 Work team was critical to getting the programme off the ground. “To be honest the whole Youth Ambassador Programme wouldn’t have happened without the support of the Youth 2 Work team. I had the idea and they made it a reality.”