Success Story - Red Badge

Youth 2 Work Success Stories

Youth put spring in step for Red Badge boss

Working alongside wonderful, motivated young people gives Karena Wilson a spring in her step.

As Operations Manager for Red Badge, Karena is the one who gets out and finds new recruits.

“The young guys and girls who we have coming through are amazing; they’re eager and happy to do anything. Part of our uniform is a smile and they’ve all got that.”

Red Badge is a Porirua Youth 2 Work Movement partner. The company first got involved when it attended JOBfest 2016.

“JOBfest was fantastic; the way it was set up was particularly good for employers – young people came along eager and ready to work, which is quite different from what you get at a careers expo.”

Karena says Red Badge employed about 40 young people on casual contracts as a direct result of JOBfest 2016.

As a security company specialising in events, Red Badge needs large numbers of casual staff who are available to work on an ‘on-call’ basis. “This means that young people can be working and studying at the same time if they want,” says Karena.

In addition to the obvious security skills the young recruits learn, Karena says the job is all about life skills. “They are learning about being a host, about people and about how to handle challenging situations.”

When Junior Davey’s case manager from Partners Porirua called with the opportunity to work for Red Badge, he jumped at the chance.

“I like how everyone welcomed us into the Red Badge squad and how we have heaps of laughter with the team.”

Junior’s first outing with Red Badge was to provide security at the Basin Reserve. He aspires to be a builder one day. The Red Badge job allows him to pursue this dream while still earning money and learning new skills on a casual basis for the company.

Karena encourages other businesses to take on young people. “If they can they should do it; whether it is for work experience or something else, give them that chance, they will please you. They are wonderful kids; they certainly give me a spring in my step.”