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Winning Partnership Formula For Auckland Youth

Media release follows


A concept that started as a single school initiative three years ago is now linking secondary school students across Auckland with valuable employment opportunities.

More than 1000 students will converge on Ericsson Stadium this Wednesday and Thursday (29 & 30 March) for the Pathways to Employment Expo, a showcase of employment opportunities in the engineering, automotive and vehicular technology, transport and logistics industries.

Howick College Business and Industry Pathways Manager and Expo designer, Stewart Thompson, says the aim is for students to leave the event having established a clear career direction and specific employment leads.

“Many students traditionally leave school with very limited and narrow perceptions of the opportunities that are available to them. Students who attend the days can gain a new understanding of the career paths and employment options that connect with real jobs and projected growth areas,” says Thompson.

Pathways to Employment is supported by Tools4Work, the schools focused initiative of Competenz (the Industry Training Organisation for the engineering sector) that encourages school leavers into engineering-based careers.

A number of other industry representatives are also working alongside Howick College including the National Road Carriers Association, Fulton Hogan, the NZ Army, the Motor Industry Training Organisation and the EMA (Employers and Manufacturers Association).
Significant funding is provided by councils in the Auckland area including Auckland City, Rodney, Waitakere, Manukau and Franklin.

Auckland City Council Mayor, Dick Hubbard, says the Pathways to Employment Expo programme is a major initiative of the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, which develops strategies regarding skills training for young people and addresses current and future employment issues.

“There is a need to co-ordinate economic development and skills development to maximise growth opportunities,”says Mr Hubbard.

“We need to help students develop the skills that they will need in their future career paths. By working together, we are able to address skills shortages and to make our workforce even more productive.”
Careers Development Manager of Tools4Work, Graham Flanagan, says opportunities for students considering an engineering career are vast and the expo provides an important showcase.

“Tools4Work is about getting students interested and into engineering-based careers –this starts with demonstrating to them how engineering can be fun and opening their eyes to the opportunities available to them,” says Flanagan.

Recruitment Manager Northern Zone for Fulton Hogan Group, Matt Pontin, says Pathways to Employment provides the company with a focused link with schools and students.

“From engagement and participation with students over the two days, we are able to showcase our industry and develop crucial links with careers teachers in colleges across the Auckland region,” says Pontin.

Each of the students who attend the expo has been pre-selected by their school to ensure their suitability and maximum up-take from the event.

Stewart Thompson says Pathways to Employment is quite different from traditional careers expos.

“While traditional careers days or evenings in schools often reflect the recruitment drives of tertiary education providers, this does not always help students to become aware of wider learning and earning options,” he says.

“One of our long-term goals is to promote a much greater alignment between what is happening in school classrooms and the needs of business and industry.

“It’s about increasing the relevance of what they learn at school and ensuring it matches what they want to do when they leave school,” says Thompson.

“Students who have the ability and knowledge to make informed career decisions are more confident in themselves. They have greater control of their futures and will be far more motivated to learn when they see that their education is relevant to their prospective career paths – it’s a win-win for both students and employers.”


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