We’re delighted to let you know that the teams that will be joining us for the Launchpad Work accelerator are (drum roll please)…

Dine Academy Trust, Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS), The Fresh Desk, Destination Trades LTD., WeVisit, Global Action Plan Oceania, Spectrum Care, and Mangere East ACCESS Trust.

These rising stars will be taking part in Launchpad Work from May to October 2017, and will receive business support, funding and access to a network of potential mentors, partners, customers, and investors. Each of the social enterprises offer unique solutions to solving barriers to employment in Auckland.

Dine Academy Trust

Dine academy

Dine Academy partner with New Zealand’s leading chefs and hospitality talent to inspire, nurture and empower youth to transition into employment in cookery, tourism and customer service. The Dine Academy founder, Sonia Tiatia, passionately believes in engaging youth early to learn industry skills, work ethic, and confidence in a real commercial environment, to prepare them for long-term employment. They’ve already taken 300+ youth through their bootcamp programmes that are run at venues like Westpac Stadium and Eden Park. Launchpad Work is Dine Academy’s opportunity to scale their bootcamp programme for youth at risk of long-term unemployment and groups such as sole parents.

Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS)

Youth at risk of long-term unemployment are given an incredible opportunity through the Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS) where they receive support in continuing education and transitioning into employment. Through partnering with retailers and others businesses, youth are aided into first time jobs and kept engaged in education. The Collective Impact Initiative is the driving force behind YESS, which works to ensure youth in West Auckland succeed in education and employment.

Fresh Desk


Fresh Desk are a cleaning social enterprise who take an innovative perspective on caring for their workers. Fresh Desk opens the door to marginalised jobseekers to access meaningful work, while also allowing them to upskill on the job and gain NZQA certification. Fresh Desk founders, Caroline de Castro and Nicole Oxenbridge, believe proper training, combined with paying the living wage, enable the creation of a dedicated and professional team with excellent morale. Launchpad Work is assisting Fresh Desk in expanding employment in Auckland.

Destination Trades LTD.

Destination Trades

Destination trades are dedicated to recruiting, training, supporting, and retaining women in construction trades to achieve positive economic change and inspiring futures for women in construction trade employment. An estimated 3500 newly qualified tradespeople are needed each year to keep up with growing construction requirements in the greater Auckland region. Women make up only 2% of these  workers – Destination Trades aims to change that. Destination Trades’ founders, Christina Rogstad, Veronica White, and Owen Lingard bring their specialist knowledge to reduce recruitment and training costs for industry partners, whilst increasing employment rates and trainee income.



WeVisit connects trusted and trained youth with older people for regular visits to create mutual benefit. While older people are supported in living out quality lives, youth are mentored through intergenerational, community-based apprenticeships. WeVisit’s founders, Sam Johnson and Tyler Brummer, say the service aims to maximise mental health and wellness benefits of social connection. Early retirees with a project are connected with youth to allow them to explore different vocations. Through partaking in WeVisit, youth develop their emotional intelligence and relationship building skills, helping prepare them for life-long employment.

Global Action Plan Oceania


Creating waves in the sustainability world are Global Action Plan Oceania, who provide sustainability education, consulting, and recycling services in Auckland. The organisation has seen rapid growth in its first year of operation and has established a profitable business that provides the living wage to its 17 staff. Their leadership team, consisting of Adam Benli, Andrew Walters, and Jane Walters, are now working to solve the expanded polystyrene waste issue in Auckland through new technology, offering a cost competitive service for businesses and consumers, and creating job opportunities for those facing barriers to employment. Teaming up with Launchpad Work is allowing them to consolidate organisational growth and launch the new service across Auckland.

Spectrum Care

Spectrum care

Spectrum Care are creating positive turnaround in employment prospects for youth and people with disabilities through their project which combines training, work experience, and employment in a supported environment. Through working alongside a range of stakeholders they are looking to create a wrap-around training and employment service, incorporating work experience, paid work, and work skills training, to empower individuals to recognise and address their career development needs, and to springboard people into mainstream employment. Additionally, they hope to increase understanding and acceptance of those with intellectual disabilities in the workplace by creating trusted partnerships with employers in the community.

Mangere East ACCESS Trust


The Mangere East Community Cafe Project opens employment to youth, provides a community hub, and promotes healthier local eating options in the Mangere community. Over half of the residents in the Mangere community are under 25, and the unemployment rate is more than double Auckland’s unemployment rate. The Mangere East Access Trust team of Maria Hunt, Hone Fowler, and Tawera Ormsby, are creating the Community Cafe Project to open community-based opportunities for training and employment in Mangere.