Friday, 07 August 2020


Full house at FAN launch

Full house at FAN launch

The Thames Toyota factory housed over 150 people, mostly employers who wanted to find out more about getting young people into the workforce at the launch of the Futureforce Action Network Thames-Coromandel last night.

The Futureforce Action Network (FAN) is made up of employers, educators, government and community organisations committed to creating better education-to-work opportunities for young people.

The guest speakers were a range of employers from the district who employ youth in their businesses - Grahame Christian, Managing Director of Smart Environmental, Peter Manning, Toyota Thames and Heather Moore, Unichem Heather Moore Pharmacy.

Youth speakers - including Darian Staples, a pharmacy trainee and Jake Leopald, an apprentice electrician - talked about the opportunities they were given and how it makes a difference to be given a chance and have someone believe in you enough to invest in your future.

Linda Caie, Project Manager at Smart Waikato, gave pointers and tips on future planning, selecting an employee and the importance of induction and mentoring.

With networking opportunities between the speakers, the room had a party atmosphere and many made great new connections, including the Whitianga Youth Group who found themselves chatting with TCDC Chief Executive David Hammond.

"We are proud to be one of the partners addressing an issue that is critical to the economy of the Coromandel, keeping our youth in the district," says Mr Hammond.

"If we grow our own workforce on the Coromandel, we grow our communities and businesses and the opportunity for families to flourish - fulfilling the Coromandel vision to be the most desirable area to live, work and play.”

Last night's attendees registered to be partners of the FAN network and now have a range of tools at their disposal to help plan work opportunities for youth, transitioning youth into the workplace and training and mentoring resources.


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.