19 Jun 2012

Gisborne career service shutting, new ones opening

8:00 am on 19 June 2012

A career service for teenagers in Gisborne is closing after 16 years but other groups are stepping in to fill the gap.

Career Connexions Tairawhiti has been helping 15- to 19-year-olds not in employment or education. More than half its clients are Maori.

The service is closing at the end of next month having not applied for the Government's new tender because the contract has changed.

Under the new deal, all youth services must target 16- and 17-year-olds and funding will depend on success at getting young people through NCEA Level 2.

Career Connexions director Geoff Meade says he doesn't think they should be limited to only helping young people through NCEA Level 2.

He says they already encourage their clients to get NCEA Level 2 but allow for some to go into employment or training if it's more appropriate.

Mr Meade says a new contract would mean he couldn't help 15- or 19-year-olds.

Two local iwi and the Salvation Army have been given an initial approval to share the Gisborne contract.