Sure to rise! Toroa a recipe for success

Finn Mackenzie says he has found the recipe to a brighter future, thanks to the Toroa Career Navigator programme. “I didn’t know what to do next, then I was recommended Toroa and thought it might provide some connection towards employment again.

Toroa Career Navigator is a free programme run by the Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough for youth aged 15-25, who are not in employment or training, but keen to be.

Graduate, Finn, says coming along to Toroa “what stood out was that everyone was made to feel welcome, and that was comforting.” Together, he and his peers went through a journey to build self-confidence, develop knowledge and employability skills, open their eyes to the broad range of career opportunities, benefit from mentoring, and connect with their community through a volunteer Community Project.

“To me Toroa was a place to connect with people, and the course was useful to gain skills for getting work. It gave me knowledge with job applications – which I had never considered was important. And the worksite visits showed me such a range of jobs out there,” he adds.

His father, Duncan, notes that “Since Toroa his confidence has grown dramatically. He now has his Restricted [driver’s] licence, he has DJ-ed some major community events – and has secured employment!”

“But at the same time, he’s focussed more outwardly at the community he’s part of. And all of this is coming out of the Toroa programme!”

“I love that what Toroa is doing is more than just about employability. It’s building our next generation of good citizens. They’re not just adopting a narrow focus: ‘I need a job…and it’s all about me’. They’re looking out and around themselves and developing a full community vision. I think it’s an incredibly valuable resource. We’ve got an amazing team delivering this programme… and as a community it’s going to see us well and truly looked after for the next 50 years.”

These days Finn’s up bright and early, working full-time as a bakery assistant at Pak ‘n’ Save – a job he’d “never considered before” but is now thoroughly enjoying.

Finn adds, “because of this I’m able to consider the future with more optimism and confidence.”

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