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A Destinations Team Approach To School-Leavers

A Destinations Team Approach To Support School-Leavers

What do a corporate solicitor, a drugs tester for the Sports and Drugs Agency, and a social services case-worker have in common?

The new Youth Transitions Brokers team appointed by COMET as part of a pilot programme to support school-leavers includes three enthusiasts from the legal, sports, and social services sectors.

Their job will be to help 125 new school-leavers who have no job or have not yet enrolled in a training programme "to get to a secure post-school destination", says COMET CEO Bernardine Vester.

Every year approximately 4000 young people leave Manukau's 26 secondary schools. "Just over half of these young people will have gained good qualifications and will know where they are going next," says Bernardine Vester. "However, there is a large group who need extra support once they leave school to get to the next step."

The Youth Transitions Brokers will operate from five schools in Manukau City as part of a pilot to prevent these youth from ending up on the unemployment register. The schools are Aorere College, Mangere College, Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Tangaroa College, and Edgewater College. 25 school-leavers from each school will be part of the pilot, which is funded by the Ministry of Social Development and finishes in June 2004.

The Youth Transitions Brokers will help the school-leaver to find a job or develop a training path which leads to a successful career in areas of labour market need. The team members are:

- Karena Lyons, a former corporate solicitor with a Pacific Island background;

- Arapeta Taitoko, who has case worker experience in the social services sector ; and

- Bruce Tasi, a sports sciences graduate who has worked in the sports and fitness industries, with recent experience as a drugs tester for the Sports and Drugs Agency.

"This pilot forms part of COMET's leadership activities on behalf of Manukau City Council to create better transitions for young people in our area," says Bernardine Vester.

ENDS

ABOUT COMET

The City of Manukau Education Trust was set up in 1999 by Manukau City Council as part of Manukau's Education Strategy. The Trust provides advocacy and co-ordination services for Education in Manukau, in five Areas of Focus:

- Literacy

- Life Long Learning

- School-to-Work Links

- Compulsory Education

- Early Childhood Education

The Trust is a unique investment by the City in community-building and economic development through education. We aim to "make education work for Manukau". The Chairperson of the Trust is Dr Stuart Middleton, Manager of Academic and Student Services at Manukau Institute of Technology.

For more information about the Trust, visit our website http://www.comet.org.nz


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