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Tools For Schools

PRESS RELEASE

12.09.08

Tools For Schools

A Manawatu initiative is poised to go nation-wide to keep teens from missing out on productive working lives and could be the solution politicians are looking for.

“We have a proven solution with the Tools for Schools initiative,” said Trades Mentor Jacqui Phillips. “This programme enables teenagers to look at all options available to them before they leave school.”

She has recently met with Youth Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta to discuss the three-year-old initiative. “We talked about the need for this programme format to be rolled-out nation wide,” Mrs Phillips said.

She liaises with schools and arranges regular industry familiarisation days for students.

“It’s an effective introduction of young people to business people, and where can they learn about workplace expectations.”

This is an important aspect that employers value, according to Mrs Phillips.

She said one challenge is some schools are academically focused rather than promoting career options.

“It has been a tradition within the education system to have a purely academic focus, currently if pupils are not achieving academically they can become disengaged - there are few alternatives to keep them engaged.

We need ongoing input from schools to ensure we’re meeting the majority of pupils needs and this is happening with participating Manawatu, Rangitikei, Horowhenua and Tararua district schools.”

Tools for Schools has been set up to provide insight into trade and technology employment and training.

“Our goal is to foster young people’s interest in crucial skills shortage areas, particularly trades and technology and it’s working,“ she said.

Labour department statistics show Manawatu has more people entering apprenticeships then any other region while participating schools are delighted with the results.

The Tools for Schools initiative is part of Vision Manawatu’s Integrated Education team and is funded by the Ministry of Social Development, Palmerston North City Council and Tararua District Council.

For more information email Jacqui@visionmanawatu.org.nz

ENDS

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