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Win-Win Employment Programme Launches In ChCh

A new programme designed to link school leavers directly into office employment with the city's leading legal and accounting firms is being launched in Christchurch today.

Ten year 12 and 13 students have been awarded Scholarships which place them with participating firms in the city for one year's paid employment involving training in office support and administration.

This initiative is creating a win-win opportunity for progressive firms and students. It gives a young person a supported entry point into a new world, and they quickly become a valued asset to the business, and it is an opportunity for the firms to improve their office productivity and culture.

Simon Mortlock Lawyers developed and piloted the programme with support from Businesses for Social Responsibility, Community Employment Group, and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. Mr Simon Mortlock aims to expand the programme to place more school leavers into meaningful jobs that see people and companies learn and grow. The programme is unique in that it provides "hands-on" entry into the professions. The office support position has been re-invented with on-site industry specific training modules. The Scholarship Recipients receive free tuition from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. Employers undertake to provide coaching, interview skills and introductions to prospective employers towards the end of the Scholarship term.

Ms Jo Wolfreys, the Employment Scholarship programme coordinator has been liaising with firms, schools and students to promote the concept and to select the first Scholarship Recipients who begin the programme next year.

"Although the official unemployment rate for the September quarter has dropped to 5.9%, it is still very high for young people. That's one in six, or 15.7% of unemployed teenagers. We have targeted school leavers so we can facilitate a positive first year out of school - a year we coin the 'golden year', not unlike the golden hour in trauma medicine, where timely intervention can really make a difference" says Ms Wolfreys.

Mayor Garry Moore and Dick Hubbard, the founder of Businesses of Social Responsibility (BSR) New Zealand, will launch the new programme today at an official function attended by the 2001 Scholarship Recipients and participating firms.

For further information please contract: Jo Wolfreys, Coordinator Employment Scholarship programme Phone 021-467-744

Employment Scholarship programme
A Simon Mortlock Lawyers initiative In association with Businesses of Social Responsibility (BSR) New Zealand With support from Community Employment Group and the Christchurch Polytechnic Coordinator: Jo Wolfreys, phone 021-467-744

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