• Patrick McBride

Social Enterprise, Pivot West Coast launches to connect people with jobs and projects with staff

Two West Coasters have launched a social enterprise with a focus on local employment and training.

Founders Ashley Cassin and Nikki-leigh Condon at Lake Mapourika

Nikki-Leigh Condon and Ashley Cassin from Hokitika and Franz Josef respectively launched Pivot West Coast this week and say the intention is to support local people into meaningful employment and provide a highly skilled workforce for the many long term projects about to commence on the West Coast.

“Having grown up on the West Coast for most of my life, I knew we had to move fast to launch this project and help our communities back into employment. We realise that many of our highly-skilled people have already moved on, but hopefully others will feel confident staying on the West Coast knowing there are opportunities coming.” Said Mrs Condon.

Following on from the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and employment nationwide but

especially felt in the regions, the pair decided something was needed to link those looking for work with those looking for staff.

“Last weeks project announcements for the West Coast along with previous announcements like the Pounamu Pathways and Jobs for Nature show there is significant employment in the pipeline for those currently out of work and also for those still linked to workplaces that cant provide fulltime work currently” summarises co-founder Ashley Cassin.

This region, like the rest of the country has taken a hit with unemployment in certain locations and industries causing significant issues, that look to continue for some time yet.

“As a COVID-19 unemployment statistic myself, along with many others in the tourism industry and in Glacier Country, I consider myself very fortunate to have secured another employment opportunity locally, and would love to be able to assist others to do the same, this is my motivation for this project” states Cassin

“The best part is that we have paired with local education and training providers to bridge

any potential gaps in capability and provide a highly skilled workforce for both short and

longterm projects” Mrs Condon said.

Ultimately, the pair say they are just two passionate people trying to help their local community and the region they call home, “Pivot West Coast was established over a coffee or two in local West Coast eateries, as we sought to do what we could to help our community during this tough time, we are aware other organisations are working in this space but with the nature of this issue we feel the more opportunities the merrier” concludes Mr Cassin.

The two have launched a website www.PivotWestCoast.co.nz where jobseekers can register their availability, and employers can list out their workforce requirements. Mrs Condon says that “Our hope is that with our support, the jobs that will be coming up on the West Coast will be able to be filled by our local people and provide the much needed support for our economy.”