Community project Youth Inspire is the result of a cry for help.
The Wainuiomata community, just outside Wellington, were seeing young people leaving school and claiming benefit.
Now, thanks to the Youth Inspire initiative, four hundred jobs have been secured - in retailing, hospitality, building, also at a library.
Two hundred businesses in the Hutt Valley are taking part.
Not only is it slowing down staff turn-over but recent analysis shows a social return on investment of $11.60 for every dollar invested.
Chair of Youth Inspire, Matt Reid, talks to Lynn Freeman about getting young people off benefits and into jobs, and keeping them there.
He is joined by Jazmine Kupenga, who has found work after years of being on a benefit.