A driver’s licence course is creating opportunities for residents in Cannons Creek. Literacy Aotearoa Porirua is providing drivers licence tuition and support, having received funding from the Tindall Foundation. “The lack of a drivers licence is a barrier to employment”, says course tutor Howard Lukefahr. “You only have to look at the job websites to see that many will require a licence”.
The Learner Licence Class is on Wednesday mornings in collaboration with the Cannons Creek Opportunity Centre and Wesley Community Action. The course meets in the Opportunity Centre’s facility on Bedford Court in Cannons Creek. Some of the students have also been staying on after class to become familiar with computers and skills required to gain employment.
A new class is running on Saturday mornings and will help new migrants recently settled in Porirua and others. This class focuses on English literacy, computer skills and driving related knowledge. It is run in collaboration with the Porirua Union and Community Health Service.
The Tindall Foundation grant is managed by local fund manager Nikau Foundation.
“We are pleased to see people improve their employment prospects through the Learner Licence Class”, says Louise Parkin of Nikau Foundation. “There’s a deeper issue we also want to address. Evidence points to unlicensed drivers at risk of fines. If left unpaid this can lead to court appearances and can even escalate to a prison sentence.”
“We are pleased that the Nikau Foundation shares the vision of Literacy Aotearoa Porirua. We want the citizens of Porirua to realise their own potential. The Tindall Foundation funding helps us develop new initiatives like working in Cannons Creek as opposed to our usual base in Hartham Place”, says David Watt, Manager of Literacy Aotearoa Porirua.
“This year we will deliver between 20-100 hours of free tuition to over 150 adult learners”, says Mr Watt. “We also run many computer, maths, and reading and writing, healthy living and learner licence classes. We take a holistic approach with learners. We are helping them to apply with jobs or to find volunteer and training opportunities. All of our classes are free”