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Ford Contributes To City Education Vision

The City of Manukau Education Trust (COMET) announced today a major sponsorship from the Ford Motor Company of New Zealand for Manukau’s Te Wero: the Pathways Challenge project.

Te Wero: the Pathways Challenge project is a major initiative developed by COMET on behalf of Manukau City to improve the qualifications of Manukau students as they move from school into training or work. As part of the project, Manukau City Council, through COMET, is supporting the establishment of partnerships between businesses and schools.

The Ford Motor Company presented today the keys of a motor vehicle to the Mayor of Manukau City, Sir Barry Curtis; and to COMET’s Executive Officer, Bernardine Vester; as the contribution from the Ford Motor Company to the project. The vehicle will be used by the Trust School-Business Partnership facilitator, Valley Wandstraat, in her work with schools and businesses.

“The Ford Motor Company is very proud to be associated with the vision that Manukau City has for Education. We wish to play our part in improving the relationship between schools and business,” says Randall Lewis, Director of Finance for Ford.

“The more students that have the opportunity to experience the world of work while they are still at school, the less likely it is that they will drop out of the system without a vision for their own future.”

Mayor of Manukau, Sir Barry Curtis, says “The Ford Motor Company is a long standing and highly respected business in Manukau. I am grateful for the Company's ongoing support of our diverse communities, especially our young people - THE FACE OF THE FUTURE.”


COMET BACKGROUND

The City of Manukau Education Trust (COMET) was established by Manukau City Council to develop its Education Strategy. COMET was established formally in 1999, and its first Executive Officer was appointed in 2000.

The Trust’s mission requires it to develop an educational environment which supports the City’s Economic Development. There is a role for COMET to advocate for educational needs in Manukau City, as well as promote programmes and projects which improve educational outcomes for Manukau citizens.

COMET has identified Five Areas of Focus for its work:
- Literacy
- School to Work Transitions
- Life Long Learning
- Compulsory Education
- Early Childhood Education

The Te Wero: the Pathways Challenge project is a major project in the ‘School to Work Transitions’ Area of Focus above.

This project is in two parts. The first part relates to improving the relationship between business and schools, so that young people have a better understanding of the world of work before they leave school, and a vision about their destinations. The second part relates to mentoring and supporting students so that they leave schools with more qualifications and more options for their future. The focus is on students who tend to not continue to positive work, training or education destinations once they leave school, mostly Pacific Islands and Maori students.

The Manukau Literacy Taskforce is developing projects in the ‘Literacy’ Area of Focus.

COMET is beginning to pick up projects in each of the other Areas of Focus.

COMET is funded by Manukau City Council. The projects developed in each Area of Focus are all funded in different ways through partnerships developed by the Trust.


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