PESS initiative instils self-belief
When the time came for Faatagai (Naee) Leavai (pictured) to find full-time employment, the 21-year-old faced many challenges.
“I fell into a state of depression as I really wanted to find a job,” Naee says.
Based in South Auckland suburb Manurewa, Naee had been a full-time caregiver however, when her circumstances changed she began searching for work.
Struggling to find suitable employment, a friend at Naee’s church informed her about the Pacific Employment Support Service (PESS), funded by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP).
“I contacted Solomon Group and was linked with an Employment Navigator Gustavia Lui,” she adds.
The PESS initiative has already helped many young Pacific people in Auckland and Hamilton to find sustainable employment, education or training opportunities by working with four providers.
These providers - InWork, SENZ, Skills Update and Training Institute and Solomon Group - motivate, train and match young people to jobs or education that best fit them.
They offer services including tailoring interventions such as career advice, coaching or interview skills.
For Naee, Employment Navigator Gustavia and the PESS initiative instilled self-belief which changed Naee’s approach and confidence levels to finding employment.
“I worked with Gustavia for less than a month and then was promoted to the current role I am in now as the Solomon Group Youth Services Administrator,” Naee says.
“The PESS programme is effective as it offers our Pacific people something to hope for, it is a service that actually understands Pacific Island people and the struggles we face.”
Naee is enjoying her current role and is looking forward to where it will lead her, she says.
“My goal is to move into management or own my own business.
“I’ve been in my job for one year now and am looking forward to where this will take me.”
Visit PESS if you are interested in learning more about the initiative.