YMCA Auckland has become one of the latest signatories to the Youth Employment Pledge -  an initiative by Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) aimed at getting more young talent into work and career pathways.

YMCA Auckland is the first charity and not-for-profit organisation to sign the pledge.

Nearly 50 per cent of YMCA Auckland’s 700 employees are aged under 25, said CEO Peter Fergusson, and the organisation is committed to recruiting more young talent and providing career pathways for youth.

“Our 22 fitness, recreation and early learning centres across Auckland benefit from the diversity and fresh ideas introduced by our younger employees.”

Mr Fergusson also noted a significant portion of people in local communities serviced by YMCA fall into the 18-30 year old age bracket.

“It’s important we have staff in those communities that can understand the needs of youth and challenge us as an organisation to engage more effectively,” he said.

“YMCA provides numerous training opportunities for its younger employees, and supports the development of leadership skills to serve people throughout their career in and outside the organisation.”

Empowering youth

Since 2002 YMCA Auckland has run Raise Up – a youth development programme run by youth for youth across 11 locations in Auckland and Hamilton. The programme seeks to empower youth by providing a safe and healthy environment in which to thrive, socialise and achieve goals.

“Actively participating in government initiatives such as the Youth Employment Pledge extends our commitment to empowering youth by developing career pathways and supporting young people to make further positive changes in their communities,” Mr Fergusson said. 

YMCA Auckland joins over 50 other businesses across the city who have also signed the pledge. The initiative is part of the Auckland Council Youth Connections Programme and is supported by the Tindall Foundation.