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Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Paul Goldsmith today welcomed the official launch of the Auckland Airport Jobs and Skills Hub - Ara.

“Ara is an industry-led skills and employment initiative that connects employers based at the Airport with local jobseekers in South Auckland,” says Mrs Tolley.

“This skills hub is part of the Government’s approach to partner with businesses to deliver wider economic and social benefits.

“So far nearly half the jobs created through Ara have gone to beneficiaries. It’s great to see the skills hub model improving outcomes for jobseekers and giving them transferable skills which will help them lead successful independent lives.

“A crucial element of Ara is a skills exchange hub which provides on-site numeracy, literacy and practical skills training such as driver licensing.”

“A key focus of the Government’s comprehensive Business Growth Agenda is to improve the skills of all New Zealanders so we have a workforce fit for the 21st century. We are focused on collaborating with industry to grow the skilled workforce in industries critical to New Zealand,” says Mr Goldsmith.

“Since its inception 18 months ago, Ara has connected more than 190 people into jobs at the Airport, and facilitated training and upskilling for over 1,500 people.”

Ara is an initiative within the Sector Workforce Engagement Programme, an initiative led by MBIE and MSD. The Programme works with industry to trial new approaches aimed at improving employers’ access to reliable, appropriately skilled staff at the right time and place, giving priority to domestic jobseekers.

“Ara’s success as a job and skills hub has already been replicated at two newer hubs based at Wynyard in Auckland CBD and the Tamaki regeneration programme. Together they have already placed 40 people into employment and referred 36 people for further skills training,” says Mr Goldsmith.

“While Auckland Airport will take ownership of the Ara hub, government agencies will continue to work with Ara to ensure its ongoing success.”

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