Provincial Growth Fund grant for Coxco Farming and Horticulture

Coxco, a Craigmore Company, receives grant to establish a training programme aiming to boost regional employment

Coxco Farming and Horticulture Ltd and CARE Tairawhiti will receive $2.25 million as part of the latest Provincial Growth Fund allocations designed to support people into work.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones yesterday announced a regional skills and education training investment worth $12.2 million across the country.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to New Zealand’s economy, with the effects being felt hard in the regions,” Mr Jones said.

“Our recovery will be driven, in large part, by the regions so it is imperative businesses have a well-trained work force and Kiwis have more ways to learn and upskill.

“These projects will increase the number of people enrolled in PGF-funded skills and employment programmes to around 13,150.

Coxco will receive $1.45 million to establish a training and employment programme to help 100 unemployed Tairawhiti people into employment either with Coxco or elsewhere in the local primary sector.

“It’s great news. It’s good to see this contribution from Government,” said Coxco managing director Omi Badsar.

“It’s a great opportunity to upskill our local community in the horticulture and wider primary sector field.”

Coxco have been involved with the Tairawhiti workforce since 1996.

“This is a great opportunity to employ more people in our industry.

“As soon the funding comes through from Government we will get started,” Mr Badsar said.

“The aim at this stage is to kick the programme off early next year.”

CARE Tairawhiti, a sub-group of the broader Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan, will receive $800,000 to help Tairawhiti employers build effective employment practices to help an estimated 235 local people into sustainable employment.

CARE is a regional group of employers, industry and government agencies charged with delivering solutions to develop, grow and connect our local talent with employers and jobs, and vice versa, as well as identifying future workforce needs.

“CARE was a co-creation of the region and the Provincial Development Unit, recognising the amount of PGF spend that was coming to the region and ensuring that the jobs created from this investment were for our people and for the long term” said co-chair Gavin Murphy CEO of Trust Tairawhiti.

“As a collective, we are striving to be practically helpful to industry and employers and connect with the talent. The funding will be used to employ resources that are very much hands-on in connecting employers and jobs with talent.”

Read the article on Gisborne Herald website