Success Story - Porirua Chamber of Commerce

Youth 2 Work Success Stories

Chamber promotes Youth 2 Work benefits

Porirua is a unique city with a large population of young people giving us our future workforce right here.

Executive Director of Porirua Chamber of Commerce, Tracy Johnson says this is a great benefit to local businesses.

“If we don’t take the opportunity to match these young people to careers locally then we’re not making the most of our advantage – the Porirua Youth 2 Work Movement gives us that opportunity.”

Tracy says young people want to contribute and they want to work. “They genuinely want to be part of the workforce and work environment where they get to meet new people and learn new skills.”

Young kiwi workers are valued overseas and are viewed as having a great work ethic and a lot of ingenuity, says Tracy.

“We sometimes forget that here and fail to make the most of what we’ve got.  We need to give young people the opportunity to get work experience.  Often the first barrier they face when job hunting is their lack of work experience, we need to give these young people a hand up into the workforce.”

The Chamber recently engaged it’s second young person on work experience.

Max Cromie originally got his foot in the door with the Chamber after volunteering to help at the 2017 Porirua JOBfest.

“Through the volunteering I got to know Partners Porirua well enough to get character references and then they approached me about applying for the Chamber of Commerce job,” says Max.

“It’s been nice working with people on an adult basis. When you come out of training area you still have that student mentality, coming here you are working like an adult which felt nice. I’ve made a lot of personal changes like sorting out my sleep schedule, organising professional clothes and how to present myself – all things that make me more employable.”

Tracy says that providing on the job experience helps to boost a young person’s confidence which improves their employment chances. “They now have the experience and the confident attitude to go with it.”

Max says the job has given him the confidence he needed after being out of education, employment and training for a few months after coming out of university.

“Having a job and something to do gives you a sense of personal agency and responsibility. When you have something to care about, you rebuild your sense of discipline and it helps to rebuild yourself,” says Max.

Tracy says: “When you’re providing work experience you are choosing from a pool of genuinely interested people who are really motivated to get into the job market and to get a foot on the ladder.”

She says young candidates generally have a great attitude, they want to succeed, they are loyal and engaged and grateful for the chance.

“From an employer’s point of view a young person who really wants experience is highly motivated and happy to learn to do things the way you want them done – they’re more flexible.

“The Youth 2 Work Movement team are really good at matching candidates with their employer and we’ve been really lucky with our placements and their awesome ‘can-do’ attitudes,” says Tracy.

And for Max the job has provided an extra bonus.

“This job has helped me to get over the millennial fear of the phone call! It can be terrifying answering a call from someone you don’t know and having to call people you’ve never met. I always have to revise what I’m going to say but when you’re handed a list of 20 people you need to call you have to get used to it pretty quick.”