Community Driver Mentoring Programme a success
The lack of a small rectangle of plastic is one of the greatest barriers to employment, and the driver behind a new partnership agreement that will see more young people job-ready, with licences in their pockets.
The success of the Community Driver Mentoring Programme, a collaboration between Opotiki District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the NZ Transport Agency and Eastbay REAP, has now attracted the support of the Eastern Bay Road Safety Programme.
Toi EDA Workforce Development Manager Barbara MacLennan says the success of the first programme, which has seen over 60, mainly young Opotiki people, achieve their restricted licences, was ample evidence that it needed to continue. Ms MacLennan advocated with the Eastern Bay Road Safety Programme and the group’s Community Development Advisor, Lorreen Hartley says the Road Safety Programme is delighted to be involved.
“The wonderful differences that the programme is creating in young people’s lives clearly demonstrates the advantages of working together in a community to add value, meet needs and make a genuine difference”, Ms Hartley says.
The Programme goals are threefold: improved learner driving, increased safety on the road and completed licence requirements. Eastbay REAP manages the programmer and Chief Executive Ryan Morrison says there are multiple benefits.
“One is that by involving community mentors to support rangatahi to practice and improve their driving skills, we help build relationships in the community. It’s truly inspiring when we see a young person immediately eligible for a wider range of jobs, or a young mum able to drive her children around with more confidence, and without getting a ticket.”
“A current driver’s licence on a young person’s resume is a necessary component to many jobs. Even where it is not required directly for a job, it is often crucial so that people can get to and from the job or training,” Ms MacLeenan adds.