Accelerator youth training programme launches at The Warehouse

Accelerator youth training programme launches

8 Feb 2019

From left to right

Evelyn Ross, Chief People Officer,The Warehouse Group, Senthil Perumal, Director, Youthhub, Pejman Okhovat, CEO, The Warehouse, Hayden Ibrahim, The Warehouse, Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development, David Vaea, The Warehouse Red Shirts graduate, Des Flynn, head of stakeholder Engagement, The Warehouse Group, Vic Rickard, Deputy Chief Executive, Service Delivery, Ministry of Social Development, David Benattar, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Warehouse Group Red Shirts graduate

The Warehouse today announced that its successful ‘Red Shirts in the Community’ programme will be the first training programme made available on the new digital learning platform ‘Accelerator.’

Accelerator was launched this morning by the Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni at The Warehouse Royal Oak.

Accelerator has been jointly developed by The Warehouse, the Ministry of Social Development and Youth Hub as a digital environment for young people to access on-the-job workplace training programmes and connect with potential employers.

It will also be the largest public-private partnership of its kind working on social inclusion and youth development in New Zealand.

“We have seen some really positive outcomes for the young people who have completed our ‘Red Shirts in the Community’ programme,” said Pejman Okhovat, Chief Executive of The Warehouse.

Accelerator builds on the successful Red Shirts in The Warehouse which has seen more than 1100 young people complete the programme since 2017.

“It will give young people the flexibility to learn when and where they want, give them access to extra support if they need it and be able to connect with other young people in the on-the-job training programmes,” said Viv Rickard, Deputy Chief Executive of Ministry of Social Development.

The technology and infrastructure behind Accelerator has been designed by Youth Hub: a platform which helps young people create online profiles to connect with potential employers and service providers as they enter the working world.

“Accelerator makes workplace learning fun thanks to the gamification of the training modules,” says founder Senthil Perumal. “The Warehouse has taken a proactive approach in developing its online training and we’re excited to get more great Kiwi companies onboard.”

Red Shirts in the Community will be the first training module on Accelerator but once it has been successfully delivered as a digital programme, MSD will extend it to other sectors and employers.


Accelerator is a digital platform for young people to access on-the-job training programmes and connect with potential employers in a blended learning environment that incorporates gamification of content and a mentoring component along with the opportunity to experience work. Accelerator will recruit participants through Youth Hub’s online platform and provide access to training modules as well as offering 3 months follow up pastoral care support from an ITO (SkillsNZ) to participants as they complete their training and prepare work-ready documents for themselves such as CVs and references. Participants are then supported through the Youth Hub website to continue building upon their profiles, upskill themselves and search for employment opportunities. Red Shirts in the Community will be the first on-the-job training programme on Accelerator but once it has been successfully delivered as a digital programme, MSD will extend the programme to other sectors and large employers.

The Warehouse Red Shirts in the Community Programme

The Warehouse Red Shirts in Community programme launched a programme for young New Zealanders aged 16 – 24 not currently in employment, education or training to experience work. More than 1100 young people have been through the programme since its commencement in 2016.

On the Warehouses Red Shirts in the Community Programme participants spend three weeks in a Warehouse store, receiving training in retail customer service, communication skills, personal presentation, stock management and basic health and safety. The programme provides in-store workplace training and credits towards NCEA Levels 1 & 2.

Youth Hub

Youth Hub is an online platform described as “the LinkedIn for youth” where young people can set up profiles to connect with prospective employers, tertiary providers, schools, educators and youth service providers. Their online CVs become their pathway to the professional world beyond school.

Using a familiar user experience, Youth Hub allows young people to create their Personal Brand by allowing them to record their education to employment journey with images, videos, texts and posts. By adding a career wish list, requesting testimonials for soft skills and sharing their interests, they create a dynamic and living CV to be shared with employers.

Youth Hub aims to help sculpt a skilled, informed, and engaged workforce while levelling the playing field for all young people across New Zealand.