When iconic Sanson café, Viv’s Kitchen registered for business support through the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) they were looking to tap into the networking and development opportunities available to them.

Within six weeks of working with one of CEDA’s Business Growth Advisors, three part-time staff had been appointed thanks to connections made via CEDA.

One of CEDA’s key focuses is helping businesses to grow, which we offer via a number of ways and tools, such as connecting business to training and development opportunities and the Regional Business Partners programme, facilitating new connections and relationships, providing business tools and resources, insights and data, and more.

One of CEDA’s Business Growth Advisors, Matthew Jeanes, explains “In our discovery sessions with businesses, we peel back the layers, discover their frustrations, challenges and opportunities and then connect them to the right people and organisations to achieve success.”

When Kevan and Viv of Viv’s Kitchen first met with Matthew for their discovery session, it was clear that recruitment was an issue, with the sourcing of part-time staff a real concern.

Matthew put Kevan and Viv in touch with several organisations and people including Ron Armstrong of Talent Central. Talent Central engages with secondary schools directly, identifying and supporting students for employment in local businesses.

“The key is finding the right fit, some students will come into a role with previous experience, while for others, those skills can be taught because they have a great attitude, great drive and good communication skills, all attributes we look for when connecting young people and businesses,” says Ron.

“I interview recommended students from schools, and then put them forward for roles at youth ready businesses such as Viv’s Kitchen, or work with them to upskill – it all depends on what is best for each student.”

Since contacting Ron, three school students have been employed by Viv’s Kitchen to work on the weekends and even during the recent school holidays.

For Kevan and Viv, these appointments have helped to alleviate the pressure on their staffing.

“As with many other hospitality businesses, we have been struggling to ensure we have enough staff, particularly through this wave of Omicron,” says Kevan.

“These students have joined our workplace and they are so keen to be taught new skills, have great attitudes and are prepared to work hard. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

For Matthew, it’s a great result, however the support for Viv’s Kitchen doesn’t stop there.

“I will continue to work with Kevan and Viv to connect them laterally to other businesses, partnerships and organisations depending on their needs and at a pace that works for them,” he adds.

“As Business Growth Advisors we have broad networks, we understand the mechanics of businesses and we can see where opportunities lie.”

“Our ability to refer and connect is absolutely key.”

In the meantime, when you are next in Sanson, stop at Viv’s Kitchen, their cream horns are famous!

If you are a business in Palmy, Manawatū or Tararua, and you are looking to grow, develop and innovate, contact [email protected] to connect with a CEDA Business Growth Advisor. There is no cost involved, yet a wealth of opportunities available.

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