Youth Guarantee Programme Gets Makeover
Media Release 4 March 2014
Youth Guarantee Vocational Studies Programme Gets Makeover
School leavers who join NorthTec’s Youth Guarantee Programme have a new team to support them as they begin their learning journey. Youth Guarantee is a year long, fees free programme designed specifically for 16-19 year olds who are new to tertiary education and with NCEA Level 1 or less.
George Brown, Acting Programme Leader, says Youth Guarantee students now have a dedicated support team as well as their team of tutors. “Our new team for 2014 includes trained social workers with a diverse range of experience in youth settings. They have been picked for their experience and ability to relate to this age group.”
As well as personally supporting the students, the role of the team is to engage with communities, organizations and families. George – “Most of the support team people are already active in community initiatives and are therefore in a position to help. They are instrumental in networking. They let people know what the course involves and bring people on board.”
The programme includes a compulsory employment skills component as well as an introduction to a range of career streams including hospitality, automotive, music, environment, sports and recreation, and retail and sales.
George – “We give our students a taster of possible career paths. What is unique about our programme is that it focuses on the strengths of the student and then finding a programme that matches those strengths.”
Already, with the programme only a few weeks into its first semester, the tutors are noticing how much creative talent there is amongst the students. George - “We’re also looking to set up a Youth Guarantee music band. Although most of the educational elements of the course are set, we have room for added input like this and for some flexibility in decision making - including from the students.”
And Youth Guarantee is already getting a positive thumbs-up response from the students. George – “They are genuinely interested and are telling their friends.”
George is very clear about the priority of the NorthTec Youth Guarantee Programme. “Our key goal is to really raise the aspirations of young people on the programme. The greater aim of this programme is for them to travel an educational journey with intentions of becoming peer leaders and contribute back to younger teens in the local community. They will be able to do this as a result of already coming through their own success cycle.”
George Brown is a trained psychotherapist, originally from UK. He is also a teacher and has worked as an independent consultant in youth leadership and education. George - “I was asked to step in as Acting Programme Leader for Youth Guarantee to get it up and running under a completely new programme model. In keeping with NorthTec’s overarching policy of being one of the best tertiary providers in New Zealand, we’re aiming to have our Youth Guarantee programme provide the best service for our young people.”
“The ideal outcome is for our students to feel confident enough to further their education and have a clear understanding of the area for their immediate future career goals. We also want to enable them to be seen and have a voice.”
There are still places available on the programme so to find out more about NorthTec’s Youth Guarantee programme see http://www.northland.ac.nz/Programmes/YouthGuarantee.aspx or contact George Brown on 09 470 3722