Connecting students with local jobs

Tarawera High School (in Kawerau) students recently graduated from a Horizons Energy Taster course. Photo: James Stanbridge.

A new career service aims to better connect secondary school students in the Eastern Bay of Plenty with the range of career options available and to local employment opportunities.

Toi-EDA workforce development manager Barbara MacLennan says Career LinkUp is an important step in the Eastern Bay of Plenty's pathways to work strategy and has the backing of local industry, colleges, community partners, many Iwi, local and central government.

“It will give our rangatahi more opportunities to develop aspirations and make informed choices. It's important they know about the skill and job opportunities in our region's industries and iwi economic development plans,” says Barbara.

Career LinkUp gives students and staff a better understanding of iwi and industry needs, and will help youth grow work-readiness, and for employers to be prepared for working with young people.

Barbara says the programme will include work-focused activities like days out with industry, new taster courses, and events that raise awareness about Eastern Bay of Plenty industries among whanau and the wider community.

The Career LinkUp is also supported by Bay of Plenty's Tertiary Intentions strategy. TIS chairman Sir Michael Cullen says the new system is an example of the sort of community-driven solution advocated for by TIS, which focuses on ensuring the labour needs of the region are met by an educated and skilled workforce.

Sir Michael Cullen says having a skilled and educated workforce that is able to meet the leadership and labour needs of the region provides a range of benefits including social and economic wellbeing of whanau, community and the wider Eastern Bay of Plenty.

“Students will be able to access career pathways within the Eastern Bay of Plenty and wider region, as well as gain competencies and other transferable skills to enable career success,” says Sir Michael.

Through assistance of the Todd Foundation, Toi-EDA has undertaken a feasibility study to shape Career LinkUp to meet local aspirations. Some elements of the approach are drawn from the successful Instep Programme led by Priority One in the Western Bay of Plenty.

“If we want a future where all rangatahi are actively engaged and thrive, we have to work together in new ways at both local and regional levels,” says Barbara.


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