A new academy focusing on the construction, painting and decorating trades is set to provide training, education and eventually employment for young people in Kaitaia.
Launching in February 2018, the Academy will be known as SWEETAS, standing for “Students Without Education, Employment – Training, Achieving, Succeeding”. The academy will run in partnership with NorthTEC and will take four cohorts when it opens – two in building and construction and two for painting and decorating. Kaitaia-based He Korowai Trust is rescuing dilapidated homes so that SWEETAS students will learn their skills on actual properties. Once fully renovated the homes will be added to the Trust’s stock of emergency and affordable housing for local families in need.
Earlier this year He Korowai Trust made a successful application to Foundation North, the community trust for Auckland and Northland, and was awarded a grant of $2.2 million to go towards setting up and operating SWEETAS. The grant was made through the Foundation’s Catalysts For Change programme, which supports innovative responses to big social issues in the region’s communities.
Jennifer Gill, Foundation North’s Chief Executive commented, “We are proud to make this significant grant to He Korowai Trust with whom Foundation North has shared a long and successful relationship. It will be so exciting to see this innovative approach, which blends youth development, social enterprise, housing and economic prosperity, taking shape in the Far North.”
The multi-agency initiative is the latest project in He Korowai Trust’s mission to improve the quality of life of whānau in the Far North.
Ricky Houghton, He Korowai Trust’s Chief Executive said “SWEETAS starts by offering skills, experience and stability to 17 to 24 year olds here in the Far North, where they can study and train whilst staying connected to and supported by whānau. That build-up of trust and confidence within our youth has the power to kick-start hope, interest and buy-in not just within the community but from further afield, with the potential to improve the socio-economic prosperity of the Far North. It is incredibly important that Foundation North is sharing this vision with us – we hope their support will be a spring-board for others to show faith and invest in this region.”
For more information on He Korowai Trust go here