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Licence to Write

August 2019

The last four months have been packed full of activity both here at COMET and across the regions. It is exciting to see the range of developments across the country.  

It is also great to see all our sites authentically and skilfully delivering the YEP. The data from Trackit shows real buy-in and progress, and the anecdotal stories I hear from around the regions about young people’s successes in the workforce are really heartening. 

To begin, a significant congratulations to the Wairarapa, which, under Tom Hullena’s leadership has secured significant resource from an MSD/MoE bi-partnership funding model to pilot a new programme focused on keeping the most disengaged young people at school. YEP is one of the core components of this programme.  

To respond to the needs of this group, along with YEP’s increasing delivery in the youth service space, we have developed the YEP: Ultimate Edition. The first run-through of training for the Ultimate Edition occurred in Lower Hutt in July. I was delighted with the passion and calibre of the attendees, many of whom had only been in their roles for less than a week. It is exciting to witness the growth of the specialist role of employability practitioner across the country.  

We all wish you the very best with this pilot, Tom, and I’m sure other regions would be keen to host a second iteration should this be possible in the future! 

The YEP ‘Training for Trainers’ programme is now fully developed, and five people have been selected for the first iteration. Congratulations to these people! It is planned that they will be trained, credentialed and registered by March 2020.  

We will be running a second training in mid-2020. The shaping of a micro-credential for employability practitioners/facilitators will start in early 2020. If any of you have a particular interest/expertise in this type of work it would be great to have you involved in the development group. 

A second development has been the YEP: Corrections Edition, a customised programme and set of resources designed for young adults on remand. This has come about because of the success of the work Jaymee Hu’akau and her team have been achieving at Mt Eden Corrections Facility in Auckland. It is never easy driving change and even more difficult in a custodial environment, where one needs to balance safety and risk with the delivery of any new programme.  

Another new development comes from Taupō, where Gaeleen Wilkie has instigated a pilot partnership with the Hillary Outdoors Trust to run YEP workshops. (A great initiative Gaeleen!) In speaking with one of their HOT managers, she saw excellent alignment of the employability framework with their own teaching framework. They were very pleased with what they were able to achieve over the five days and are keen to look at how this could be repeated or scaled.  

Finally, it’s wonderful to see new YEP photos, stories, media articles and videos popping up on Facebook – great work from Alysha Bentley here at COMET, from YOUth INSPIRE and from Activate Tairāwhiti. I hear other regions are planning to up their brand presence and build their own videos. Let us know at COMET if you need any help with this. 

Keep up the amazing, path-making, life-changing work you all do. There’s a great saying: “alone faster but together further”. Don’t forget to stay connected, share what you have and leverage off others’ developments.   

All the best,