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First Northland NET Conference

5 August 2004

First Northland NET Conference aims to build strong platform for enterprise education

An innovative conference at Waitangi this week aims to provide students with a
strong foundation of entrepreneurial skills through providing Northland teachers with grounding in what enterprise culture really means.

“The NET (Northland Enterprising Teachers) Project is not about changing the
content of the curriculum, its key focus is rather to provide an enterprising
approach to what schools are already doing and increasing the relevancy of the
curriculum,” says Project Director Frank Leadley. The aim of the NET project is to provide a programme of specialist school-based professional development for
teachers in Northland secondary schools so that they can develop an enterprise
approach with students.

“It’s vital that teachers explore opportunities to make the school curriculum
relevant to the commercial and social community of which the school is an
integral part,” says Mr Leadley.

Over 70 principals and school teachers will attend the first NET Conference at
Waitangi on August 5 and 6, to focus on ways teachers can best encourage
students in entrepreneurial activities.

The NET conference features presentations from key industry enterprise
advocates including Dr Lester Levy, Chief Executive of the NZ Leadership
Institute, Auckland University, Bernadine Vester, CEO of City of Manukau
Education Trust and Deb Gilbertson, innovation consultant, Te Kaihau Ltd.

The NET project is designed to build on the success of the Lion Foundation
Young Enterprise Scheme and the Young Entrepreneurs Programme.
The Young Entrepreneurs Programme has seen many students set up
businesses while at school and two Northland student-operators will give
presentations on their businesses over the two day event.

The Northland Enterprising Teachers Project is funded by NZ Trade & Enterprise
(via the Enterprise Culture and Skills Activities Fund) and has substantial
additional funding from the private sector.

The NET project, a crucial component of Enterprise Northland’s Enterprise
Education Strategy, came about as a result of the observation that although
teachers were actively involved in encouraging entrepreneurial skills, they had
not been personally involved in practical enterprise and entrepreneurial activities.
“The intent of the NET Project is to establish an incubator for life-long learning
and entrepreneurial achievement,” says Mr Leadley. “We need to develop strong
enterprise links between the school curriculum and the local community in order
that business opportunities can be developed.” The project also aims to identify
and support students to apply for and to develop a YEP enterprise.

The conference is the first step for the NET Project and will be followed
up by one day regional workshops to access progress and plan new initiatives as
well as on going work with ‘enterprise cells’ in each Northland school.


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