MTFJ Think Rural Campaign
Grey District Council Pitches Rural Life to Young City-dwellers
With a growing shortage of workers, the Grey District is taking a fresh approach to powering up their district. They’re targeting young people in cities with a brand-new campaign that will sell the benefits of living in the country.
Think Rural is launching nationwide, with eighteen rural districts signed up to the campaign. Their goal is to contribute towards filling 1,150 jobs in rural areas with young people wanting to experience a new way of life. The campaign is driven by LGNZ’s Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ), with support from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
Mayor, Tania Gibson, says she hopes that encouraging young people to Think Rural will attract a legion of keen and hardworking new recruits to the area. “I travelled overseas on a working holiday and it made me realise what a special place my home of the Grey District on the West Coast is. I couldn’t wait to get back here and now with covid, I now appreciate more than ever living rurally. Five minutes to work, five minutes to the beach, five minutes to a walk in the native bush. The opportunities are endless and employers are telling us that they are struggling to find skilled employees and they are willing to train new employees. Construction, engineering, trades, primary industries, hospitality, health there are many options. Buying your own home is still a realistic option with the average house price of around $280k you can have your own slice of paradise to yourself. It really is a great stable lifestyle in this everchanging world.”
The Grey District has around 55 jobs on offer, from dentistry to timber manufacturing and rents sit at around $380-400 per week.
Noa Woolloff, National Programme Manager of MTFJ, is 23 and passionate about getting young people into jobs that give them a new lease on life. “Young people often think about going overseas to have new experiences, but with the borders closed, we’re highlighting the incredible things New Zealand has to offer – right on their back doorstep. They say the grass is greener, but in this case, it actually is. Think Rural will showcase what these towns have to offer – from welcoming communities to interesting jobs and outdoor adventures,” he says.
Rural council’s getting behind the Think Rural scheme in the hope of drawing a younger crowd are Ōpōtiki, Ōtorohanga, Central Hawke’s Bay, Chatham Islands, Gore, Ruapehu, Waimate, Westland, Wairoa, Hurunui, Tararua, Grey, Rangitikei, Clutha, Hauraki, Mackenzie and Buller. Each rural district has a chance to receive funding support of up to $500,000 to aid their efforts to support youth and COVID displaced workers into sustainable long-term employment.
Wannabe rural-dwellers can find the right community for them on www.thinkrural.co.nz. The site gives the skinny on each participating town and directs people to available jobs.
For further information, please contact Grey District’s Workforce Development Co-ordinator, Lara Thomas on 027 263 2650 or firstname.lastname@example.org LGNZ Media/Public Affairs Manager Sean Gillespie on 021 914 464 or email email@example.com.