In 2020, funded by the Ministry of Youth Development, Zeal was successful in receiving a grant from the Ākonga Youth Development Fund to run a series of training and work-readiness programmes. The fund, set up in response to the impacts of Covid-19, equipped rangatahi who have disengaged or are at risk of disengaging from their educational learning, to build new skills that support them in future employment or study opportunities. It also helped to enable youth workers during these programmes to connect with young people on a deeper and more meaningful level.
By the end of this year, approximately 380 young people will have gone through an Ākonga training programme learning skills in either barista, live sound and lighting, photography or event management. As part of the course many participants have gained paid practical work experience in Stories Espresso Bar (Zeal’s social enterprise café), the Zeal coffee cart, local cafés or at Zeal events, with several moving into permanent employment. Now going forward into 2023, Zeal is proud to announce the ongoing support from the Ministry of Youth Development, which means these programmes are set to continue for another year.
Some key outcomes and wins
- We have had several ākonga go out and gain employment which is massive for them. We have seen them push through anxiety as they take on work experience. We have had several teachers tell us their students are totally different young people now, and they are grateful for the opportunity Zeal and the programme has afforded them. For some students Zeal has become a place of support and belonging that goes beyond the programme which we are really excited about.
- One student who started the course in term 3 had previously been expelled from school and had lost all motivation. His attendance at his course in term 3 was 71% and he struggled to focus and motivate himself. The goal setting session helped him rethink his future and he turned things around in term 4, with 98% attendance, a motivated, focussed attitude, and a plan to reengage in mainstream school.
- So far 2 students from the first intake this year have gained permanent employment from their work experience. One got offered permanent work on her first day of work experience at a local café. The other is deaf and had a cochlear implant. The coffee orders are printed on a docket, so she can read them. She even has people coming to order coffees in sign language.
A story of impact from Hamilton Zeal
A massive thank you
To Ministry of Youth Development, all tutors, Zeal youth workers and especially the young people involved.