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‘Career Capable Auckland’ Launched

‘Career Capable Auckland’ Launched to Tackle $2.6 billion in Lost Youth Productivity and Public Finance

AUCKLAND – Dec. 10, 2012 – ‘Career Capable Auckland’, a public private partnership between Fuji Xerox New Zealand, Careers New Zealand, Employers and Manufacturers Association Northern (EMA) and BusinessNZ will be launched on Monday 10 December. The partnership aims to improve transitions from school through study and training to work.

Research, undertaken by associate professor Gail Pacheco of the New Zealand Work Research Institute at AUT University Business School, showed that over the next three years, the cost of poor transitions for young people could be valued at $2.6 billion in lost productivity and public finance – more than four times New Zealand’s annual dairy exports of milk powder, butter and cheese. The research showed that the current group (as at March 2012) of 95,100 young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) will ultimately cost New Zealand as much as $23.5 billion during their lifetime (in present value terms). This is equivalent to 14% of New Zealand’s annual GDP or double New Zealand’s education budget for 2012/13.

The project is the brainchild of Neil Whittaker, Managing Director of Fuji Xerox New Zealand and Phil O’Reilly, Chief Executive of BusinessNZ.

“If New Zealand is to succeed at creating a sustainable, high performing economy, we need to secure the economic and social success of New Zealand,” said Phil O’Reilly, Chief Executive of BusinessNZ. “Our handbrake to growth today is the inability of businesses to recruit skilled tradespeople or find people with engineering, IT or healthcare skills. Yet, we face high unemployment rates of over 270,000 people, a third of which are our young people.”

“In New Zealand we need to do everything well. We need electricians and plumbers, farmers and accountants, clinicians and computer programmers. Our challenge is to connect our young people to the many career opportunities available to them and give them the tools to make informed decisions,” he added.

“It is important that we support New Zealanders and their career pathways so that they are empowered to chart an exciting course of their own that supports the country’s economic growth,” said Neil Whittaker, Managing Director of Fuji Xerox New Zealand.

“Our company vision at Fuji Xerox is to be a strong, kind and interesting organisation demonstrated by our social commitment to the education sector and the potential of our young people in this country. The success of this public-private partnership will be in the collaboration between central and local government, corporates and business, schools and tertiary institutions bringing us one step toward helping build a ‘Career Capable Auckland’, a roadmap which can be replicated across New Zealand,” he added.

Career development is an essential component of growing a strong and effective labour market. A career capable city is one where its people are competent decision makers and planners who can navigate a successful career pathway. It is one where business is enabled by a skilled workforce, and the economy prospers through a strong motivated labour market.

Developed as part of the partnership, a publication called A Career Capable Auckland: Realising Our Potential discusses a way for growing Auckland’s potential through developing a career capable workforce. It outlines an integrated approach to career development for young people and disengaged communities.

A pilot programme called “My Career Portfolio”, an online career management tool, is being piloted initially in Albany Senior High School, and next year in five schools across Auckland. MyCareer Portfolio utilises an existing online educational resource, My Portfolio, which supports school-leavers transitioning from secondary school to training or work.

The programme will enable school leavers to interact directly with businesses from a range of industry sectors. More than 20 companies from BusinessNZ’s Major Companies Group are assisting the programme.

“Our economic success depends upon highly competent, flexible and career capable people,” said Dr Graeme Benny, Careers New Zealand Chief Executive. “Connecting secondary school leavers to businesses and tertiary institutions will help them navigate the many work and training opportunities open to them. By developing career management competencies, school leavers will recognise the importance of tertiary training and develop self-awareness to seek better opportunities.”

On Monday 10 December, ‘Career Capable Auckland’ will be launched at an event featuring Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland; Neil Whittaker, Managing Director of Fuji Xerox New Zealand; Dr Gail Pacheco, Associate Professor, Department of Economics Faculty of Business, AUT University; Dr Graeme Benny, Chief Executive of Careers New Zealand; Phil O’Reilly, Chief Executive of BusinessNZ and Kim Campbell, Chief Executive of EMA Northern.

The Hon. Steven Joyce, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment welcomes the launch and the work the partnership is doing to create a ‘career capable’ Auckland. He states in a letter to the partnership, “I am a firm believer that with better information and clearer pathways towards good employment outcomes, that there will be better outcomes for individuals and a positive effect for the whole economy. The initiatives that have culminated in the launch today are a great example of how businesses, educators, students and their families can all be linked into informed decisions on study options and careers.”


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