The Central Otago District Council (CODC) has launched a programme to introduce young people to a career in local government.
Kendra Buist (18) and Grace Kiore (19) are the first cadets in the two-year programme and will work across each of the council’s departments.
“The programme will open our eyes to everything the council provides. It might lead to a career with a council or to further study,” Ms Kiore said.
“I am looking forward to getting an overview of the entire council, its different roles and infrastructure,” Ms Buist said.
During the year the programme will focus on communications, human resources, payroll, roading, library and governance. Next year’s programme will include legislative areas such as planning and building.
When announcing the programme last year, CODC chief executive Leeanne Mash said the programme was a bid to attract younger people into local government.
Of the council’s 124 full-time staff, only two are under 25.
“Local government probably has an image problem when it comes to attracting younger people so it is an effort to break down barriers and offer real opportunity,” she said.