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WELCOME ABOARD: New Regional Business Partner Pete Jarratt.

To find out more about the Business Capability Voucher programme, register at Or email

More cash for upskill training

29 June 2016, Andrew Ashton, The Gisborne Herald.

Eligible businesses provided with capability development funding.

FOR a third year in a row the Government is boosting the amount of money it gives to help upskill Gisborne businesses. Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said from July, a total of $150,000 of government-subsidised capability development and training would be available for qualifying local businesses through the region’s business capability voucher programme.

“That figure represents a 50 percent increase on the previous 12-month funding envelope, which was $100,000. In the 2014-15 year, $75,000 was available.

“For the past 15 months, our region has been showing consistent economic growth. To help keep this momentum going, Activate has lobbied government to increase the funding they provide for the local NZTE Business Capability Voucher programme.

“We’ve also demonstrated that local business owners are committed to investing in business training and development to further enhance their performance and competitiveness.” With the new funding, the government will inject $150,000 into the programme for the region, which will be matched by the participating businesses themselves.

The Business Capability Voucher programme provided eligible businesses, with fewer than 50 full-time employees, with up to half their capability development and training costs, to a maximum of $5000 a year. It is delivered through the government-funded Regional Business Partners, who are part of Activate Tairawhiti in this region.

The programme would be overseen by East Coast educator Pete Jarratt, who had been appointed RBP for Tairawhiti. He takes over from Katja Groenewegen, who is working overseas, which meant the region would retain two RBP business advisors.

“Pete is well known here for his work fostering creative thinking and imagination in young people. An experienced business owner and innovator, his experience spans multinationals, regional development agencies, start-ups and councils. He also represented the UK government at international conferences around the world.”

Mr Jarratt welcomes the new role.

“I’ve had the privilege over the past few years to work with so many amazing talents up and down the coast. I know first-hand that this region is full of potential, so I’m excited to take on a role where I can help enable this potential to flourish.”

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