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Job Track Aims To Give Students Direction

from Hutt City Council

30 April 2004


Job Track is a new youth tracking and mentoring initiative that aims to work with 16-18 year old school leavers who have not identified pathways for their future.

"Ensuring our young people have plans for the future, whether that involves further study or entering the workforce is one of the most effective ways of addressing the myriad of social problems that seem to go hand in hand with unemployment and low skill levels," said Mayor Terris.

Job Track is a joint initiative between Hutt City Council and WINZ. The position is funded through WINZ as part of the recently announced Job Jolt scheme.

"This is a clear and innovative example of a central government agency and a local authority working cooperatively together to deliver better social outcomes by adopting a fence at the top of the cliff approach, rather than simply putting an ambulance at the bottom," said Mayor Terris.

"WINZ deserves credit for actively supporting this initiative, since many of these young people do not qualify for welfare benefits until they turn 18."

The initiative grew out of a need originally identified by the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, which was concerned at the number of young people leaving school with no definite plans for their future.

Last year, young people from four local high schools took part in a survey to gauge what plans (if any) they had for the following year. Although the majority of students had identified pathways for the following year, five per cent of students were unsure of their plans. A similar, nationwide survey found 20 per cent of students were leaving school with no plans for the future.

The schools involved in the survey will be the first point on contact in identifying young people who may benefit from the project. The four Hutt City schools that took part in the survey were: Hutt Valley High School, Taita College, Naenae College and Wainuiomata College.

Hutt Valley High School principal Sylvia Burch is very supportive of the initiative.

"The results we have received specific to our school are being used to assess and review the assistance we provide to students to help them decide on a positive career path, whether that involves further study or moving into the workforce," said Mrs Burch.

Alex Nicholson has recently been appointed by Hutt City Council as the Job Track Coordinator. Her job is to build links between young people, employers, community organisations, training providers and tertiary institutions.

"Council is in a good position to use its relationship with local businesses to assist in matching student requirements with business needs," said Alex Nicholson


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