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The Attitude Gap Challenge - A South Auckland Employment And Skills Challenge

Author: Auckland Co-design Lab

Organisation: Auckland Co-design Lab; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE); Ministry of Social Development (MSD)

Published: June 2016

Country: New Zealand

Research type: Case study, Qualitative.

This project centres on understanding the reasons behind the lack of connection between local employers and young people in South Auckland. South Auckland has a broad and growing economy, rich cultural diversity and a young population. However South Auckland young people’s high unemployment rate isn’t explained by lack of educational attainment alone – a situation both socially and economically costly to the region. Anecdotally, employers say they struggle to find local candidates with the ‘right attitude’. On the other hand, young people report that the experience of applying for jobs and encountering workplace culture is like entering a foreign country, with unfamiliar and invisible practices, language and rules. The overarching finding of this project is that the challenge that employers and young people face in South Auckland is much broader than attitude, and is in fact a complex clash of norms and expectations. The report and resources highlight the important roles that employers, service providers, schools, young people and whānau can all play to get young people ’work ready’ and employers ’youth ready’.