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What can we do about youth unemployment in NZ? Zeal Welly’s radical new approach

At our relaunch event, young people, volunteers and supporters alike heard stories from 3 generations of Zeal kids, listened to jazz and acoustic tunes from our amazing young artists, and saw the crew unveil our new venture – aimed at breaking the cycle of youth unemployment.

Watch: our plan to end youth unemployment in Aotearoa

At the event, we unveiled the plans for our new Creative Studio. Headed up by visual arts whizz Pete Morris, our new project will provide pathways to education, work experience and first time employment in the design and branding industry. 

We are following the success of our social enterprise, Stories Espresso Bar, which continues to employ young people trained through our Barista Programme.

Alongside Aotearoa’s huge rates of youth unemployment, we are having a youth mental health crisis. New Zealand has the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world. At Zeal, we see how these are linked. 
International research has shown how having a place to belong, developing a skill, gaining independence and having a chance to give back to the community build much needed resilience.  Through our social enterprises, we have seen how employment can meet all of these needs.

Our Break The Cycle campaign is being made possible by inviting people to partner with us financially to make the Creative Studio dream come to life. Since the event, we have had a bunch of people sign up to give regularly to help the rangatahi of our country – but we are still shy of our target. 

If you would like to contribute and make a real difference in Aotearoa, you can find out how at zeal.nz/breakthecycle

Read more from Wellington:

“We believe that young people in New Zealand face a crisis of identity and purpose. Employment can be a catalyst to shift fringe young people from low-confidence and disinterest to self belief and social connectedness.” 

“Working as a Creative Director for a Branding and Design agency in Australia and also a Youth Pastor at my local church, I recognised an opportunity to bring these two world’s together, combining my passion for creativity with my heart for young people.”