Network for youth being embraced nationally

23 Jan 2017 / BY SHAUNI JAMES, ROTORUA DAILY POST, NZ HERALD

A local youth centre is not surprised a platform which has been likened to a 'LinkedIn for youth' has been embraced nationally. The Youth Hub network has been embraced by schools and tertiary students, with more than 600 signing up since the platform was nationally launched two months ago. Youth who join the free online platform create profiles to interact with other youth, prospective employers and all stakeholders in the education, training and employment journey. Rotorua was one of the first areas in New Zealand to pick the network up, and it is now being rolled out nationally.

So far, more than 190 young people have signed up in Rotorua. The Rotorua Youth Centre has been working with Youth Hub for over a year, and launched the platform in Rotorua in March to service providers and rangatahi in May this year. The centre has three cadets who work with Youth Hub as navigators. Cadet Laneishia Wycliff said as navigators they connected with businesses and service providers to help provide youth with employment opportunities to direct them to the right service provider when they needed help. She said she thought Youth Hub was doing well because it was a less intimidating place for youth to go. Cadet Eru Pene said it was doing well because it was virtual, and the majority of young people knew how to work the website.

Youth Hub co-ordinator Bobby Howard said they had known the platform's potential was good. "There needed to be something different than the norm, because the norm wasn't working for youth.

"It's innovative and out of the box.“ Young people from the ages of 14 to 24 can log in and use Youth Hub. Youth Hub founder and creator Senthil Perumal said the network was thrilled by the positive uptake. "Youth Hub is a one-stop central hub for students and young people to read inspiring stories about their peers, tell their own story, and make all-important connections with people who can offer them jobs or training during and after they finish studying. "It's incredibly satisfying seeing the value people are getting after the massive efforts put in during the development of the platform which has been years in the making.“ Those who are interested in the platform can visit www.youthhub.co.nz.