Young people in Kawerau, or matatahi, are being given skills that will enable them to get jobs in their rohe rather than having to leave, a local training organisation says.
The Bay of Plenty town has suffered from heavy job losses in recent years due to closures in the local paper and pulp mill industry.
Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau, a group of businesses and local and central government representatives, has been giving high school students hands-on blue collar industry training.
Project manager Su Cammell said ensuring there is pastoral care with whānau and mentors involved has been key to the programme's success.
She said the programme is an opportunity to show the young people of Kawerau what sort of jobs are available locally.
Ms Cammell said when the students take on training in the workforce they will already have some meaningful and practical skills behind them.