In Box: Youth programmes help economy

Investing in young people early is no-brainer, according to Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) co-founder Graeme Dingle.
This is view shared by key sponsor, Deloitte, who has supported FYD from its beginnings.
FYD, home-grown charity, has been working with Kiwi kids for over 16 years. It says its preventative approach has huge impact on the New Zealand economy.
“The cost of child participating every year of their school life in our school-based programmes, for example, averages less than $1000 per annum,” says Dingle.
“This means that they are supported from the start of primary school right through to the end of high school with effective interventions that keep them engaged and achieving.
“Compare this to student leaving school early, with no qualifications and getting into trouble. The direct cost of intervening with programme to try to keep them out of prison is up to $28,000 per six months per person.
“Should that intervention fail and the individual end up in jail, the cost to the country escalates to over $100,000 per year per prisoner and this does not include court costs, welfare costs or the costs to the victim/s.”
Deloitte partner and FYD chair Dean Ellwood notes there is global war for talent.
“Our ‘product’ is our people, and their skills and abilities. New Zealand is small country and the corresponding talent pool is also small, with significant competition.
“It makes sense to invest in something that keeps as many young people as possible engaged and focused on their future.”
The collaboration also aligns well with Deloitte’s global CSR strategy, Deloitte 21, to drive innovations in education and skills for underserved young people that will help them succeed in the 21st-century economy.
Both Dingle and Ellwood are advocates of holistic programmes that envelope young people from an early age right through to the end of high school and beyond.
“We recently took part in four-year pilot project in Northland which saw three organisations collaborating so that four programmes ran throughout the community, from pre-school right through to parenting programme, and the results were excellent,” says Dingle.
“It has prompted FYD to invest in the sequencing of our own school-based programmes in areas of most need.”
FYD’s Community Development Strategy (CDS) has now commenced in Mataura and Huntly, and plans for Manurewa are underway.
FYD currently works with over 18,000 young people across New Zealand from age 5 to 18. M

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