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Today is Workchoice Day!

How did you decide what you wanted to be when you “grew up”?

Today, Tuesday 20 May, is the 14th annual Workchoice Day and will see 6500 students getting some help in answering this eternal question. 250 companies across the country have set aside the day to give Year 12 students career insight, aiming to expose them to a range of careers and propel them into their futures. Workchoice Day gives students the opportunity to spend the day at two organisations in an industry in which they have an interest. Various staff members at the organisations talk to the students about what their jobs involve, how they got there, their education and background and anything they might have done differently. Students might find their dream job or they might find that their dream job isn’t, in fact, the job for them!

The Workchoice Trust, which runs the programme was set up in 1994 by Roger Lampen as a not-for-profit organisation that would create such a link between school and the world of work. Over 120,000 students have now benefited from the programme.

Workchoice Day 2008 has also been supplemented by the development of a new student website. was launched in early May as part of the lead up to the day and to expand and enhance the experience for students. On Tuesday 13 May, registered students started to take part in the 10 Days of Workchoice. Each day in this campaign has been sponsored by a different one of the Trust’s leading or supporting partners and has highlighted different parts of career planning. Students have viewed video content about everything from New Zealand companies and career profiles to areas with skill shortages to information about their rights.

The Trust has been very pleased with the level of engagement by students with registrations increasing daily. What has been of particular interest to the Trust is the number of questions students are asking. Kathy McCombe, Trust Development Manager says participating in Workchoice Day has always been beneficial for students with career questions, but this has opened that up further.

“Workchoice Day provides a unique opportunity for teenagers to talk to future employers and get a feel for exactly what working life is all about and the skills required for that particular industry. The website has opened this up further. Some students who would stay quiet on the day because of shyness now have the confidence to ask their career questions in an anonymous format. Because these questions are being answered by companies participating in the day, students still get the breadth of experience that has always been key to the success of the day. The Workchoice Trust sees students inspired, motivated and importantly, feeling good about their future!

Both the day and the website also provide many benefits for companies, McCombe points out.
“Workchoice Day gives organisations the opportunity to tap into the future workforce and ask the students questions about what they want out of a workplace. It makes it easier for organisations to attract employees in the future. Workchoice Day also enables future employers to get students interested in their industry at an early stage of their career planning process. This is expanded by the website. While 40 students may visit a company of Workchoice Day, 400 or even 4000 more students may see their video profile on the student website.”

Having got off to a great start, the site will grow continually as companies develop relevant content.

This year 250 companies, 6000 students and 130 schools are taking part in Workchoice Day throughout the country: schools and companies are participating in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Palmerston North, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago and Southland.


Further information about the companies and schools participating



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