Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


UC research into attitudes to defence work

UC research into attitudes to defence work by engineering students

November 26, 2012

A University of Canterbury (UC) researcher has recommended to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) that the Navy offer summer employment to engineering students.

UC intern researcher Susie Koo said summer employment would be a great way for students to experience what working as an engineering officer for the Navy would be like and also help to get some positive exposure.

As part of her internship with the NZDF, Koo looked at attitudes towards the NZDF and Navy as viewed by UC engineering students. She had to determine if anything could be done to make engineering students consider the NZDF and or Navy as viable employers of choice.

``From my research findings it was clear that there was a general lack of awareness of the NZDF and the engineering roles it offered. When engineering students thought of prospective career options they named private consultancies and firms such as Beca and Aurecon but they did not really consider the NZDF as a potential employer.

``Also, the limited knowledge that students had on the NZDF and the Navy was outdated or based on misconceptions. For instance, students believed engineering officers in the Navy would get a significantly lower salary compared to other prominent engineering employers and that there was not much opportunity given for career advancement.

``In the survey I conducted at the ENSOC Careers Fair almost 40 percent of students that participated indicated that they expected to receive an annual salary of $50,000-$55,000 after graduating. After six months of initial training engineering graduates begin their careers in the Navy on a salary packed of $69,325.

``Also, the Navy has a clear system of ranks in place for career advancement but many students had the idea that they would be “stuck” in the same position or job for a long period of time.

``The problem effectively came down to the lack of appropriate awareness and knowledge of the NZDF and RNZN. Engineering students at UC believed that the NZDF and the Navy placed too much importance on `hands-on or practical’ work rather than a chance to put their engineering degree and academic abilities to good use. In reality, engineering officers will spend more time on land than at sea and they will be given every opportunity to use their academic abilities.’’

Koo said engineering students that were interested in the NZDF and the Navy liked the idea of travel opportunities, the involvement in peacekeeping work and humanitarian assistance as well as the chance to make great friends.

Engineering students at UC must secure work experience as part of their engineering degree requirement. Koo recommended summer employment in the Navy for engineering students.

The Navy had a general brochure targeting secondary and tertiary students. However, Koo said university students did not like being categorised with high school students and seeing information about NCEA was off-putting and dissuaded them from considering the Navy as an employer.

Having a separate brochure specifically tailored for university engineering students was likely to be beneficial for the Navy in terms of recruitment, she said. Koo’s internship was supervised by UC arts intern director Dr Jessica Johnston.

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Tony Parr said the UC research was good feedback and they would be taking on board Koo’s findings.

``I’m interested to hear that students’ perceptions of the Navy do not match the reality. The Navy is a rewarding career and our doors are always open to New Zealand’s best and brightest.’’

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news