The successful candidates were among 60 job applicants and almost 300 whānau that recently attended hui hosted by TRAION, supported by Ministry of Social Development and spearheaded by project partners, Ngāpuhi Asset Holding Company (NAHC), the economic arm of TRAION; Far North Holdings Limited (FNHL); and Onyx Capital Limited.
TRAION and MSD promoted the events and general manager Babe Kapa said the high turnout to both hui showed the exceptional desire of people in the community to work.
“We held the hui at the TRAION offices as a neutral, relaxed environment for our people with karakia, kai and whanaungatanga so our people felt comfortable and in a good space,” said Mr Kapa.
“Maungatapere Berries is known as a family-oriented business that lifts people up. When Patrick spoke, he told our whānau that even a criminal record wouldn’t hurt someone’s chances of getting a job with him as long as they were honest and upfront about any past raruraru and declared it from the start. He said he wants people who show they can be trusted, and who want a job and want to work. Our whānau really respected that, and the energy was great.”
MSD staff helped the candidates prepare CVs; managed the ‘speed style’ interview process; and provided expert support with the recruitment and decision-making process. They will also play a key role at the contract signing on Tuesday. “It’s going to be a great day with 26 of our whānau coming in to sign employment contracts,” said Mr Kapa.
“Full credit to Paul Knight and our asset holding company and the other shareholders for getting this project over the line. It’s going to transform the area, not just in terms of jobs for pickers through to management, but in terms of the economic benefits for the region and even the flow on effect that you get from people getting up each day with mana because they’re going to work, their kids going off to school knowing Mum or Dad or Uncle or Aunty has gone to do their mahi. We’ve been wanting and needing something big for our people and our community, and this is it!”
MSD staff helped the candidates prepare CVs; managed the ‘speed style’ interview process; and provided expert support with the recruitment and decision-making process. They will also play a key role at the contract signing on Tuesday.
According to MSD figures regarding clients ready for work with previous horticulture experience and/or have horticulture as a career path choice, around one third have both experience in horticulture and would like to work in the industry. Another third of people in the same space would like to work in the industry but lack the experience.
Darrell Lambert, MSD Economic Development Manager for Northland says partnering with industry, iwi, community and providers is critical in meeting the workforce needs for the horticulture industry, especially with the limited number of international workers in the country.
“The need for a bigger domestic workforce means industry and our local communities need to lead proactive and creative solutions that can be enabled by government agencies through for example, creating in-work support programmes,” said Mr Lambert.
“This investment in our people is a testament to what can be achieved through collaboration.”
And a follow up article in Stuff: New berry business with iwi support offers new jobs for workers in Kaikohe
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