Desire to work strong for PESS participant

posted: 7:30 am - 27th September 2018

 Before Valelia (Lia) Ielome (pictured) enrolled in the Pacific Employment Support Service (PESS) programme at Solomon Group, she was spending the majority of her time searching for work, rather than working in a rewarding job.

This all changed after she met the team at Solomon Group, one of three PESS providers who are a part of the initiative funded by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) to help young Pacific people in Auckland and Hamilton to find sustainable employment, education or training opportunities.

Solomon Group, along with InWork and SENZ, take programme participants under their wing and motivate, upskill, mentor and match young people to jobs or training that is the best fit for them.

The three providers tailor interventions such as career advice and coaching so PESS participants feel prepared to enter the workforce.  

Lia heard about PESS through her cousin and thought she would check it out. 

She made an appointment with the Solomon Group team in Manukau which turned out to be a fateful meeting, Solomon Group Youth Employment and Marketing Manager Michelle Buchan says. 

“Lia had spent some time doing a retail and business course but decided she really just wanted to get a job,” Michelle says. 

It was Michelle and the Solomon Group’s goal to find the right role for Lia to sink her teeth in, while ensuring she had the right skills for that position.  

“She had worked before and had some hospitality and caregiving experience but she was looking for a change,” Michelle explains. 

Lia had been applying for jobs in retail, however when the reception role at Monte Cecilia came up she figured it was also tied in with customer service and assisting people so she put her hand up to apply for it. 

“She got the job and has been there for over a month now - Lia really enjoys being able to deal with people as well as working with technology," Michelle says.  

Lia says it has been a great experience and she is learning a lot. 

“I love the fact I am working for an organisation that helps families in need,” she adds. 

With the growth of the Pacific population helping to shape New Zealand’s future, MPP has identified Employment and Entrepreneurship as one its key priorities for Pacific communities. 

Creating Pacific employment opportunities and developing innovative business growth has and will remain a focus for the Ministry.

For more information on our PESS programme and providers, visit MPP