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Unique Approach Bridges Education to Employment Gap

5th August 2013

Media Release

Unique Approach Bridges Education to Employment Gap

As global youth unemployment rates continue to rocket, New Zealand organisation, Workchoice Trust, is calling for a national up-skill of the nation’s secondary school educators.

With new figures revealing that youth now account for more than one-third of New Zealand’s total unemployment rate, the Trust says it is vital that the current disconnect between education and industry be addressed to avert a looming youth employment crisis.

In urgent response to the situation, Workchoice Trust, in conjunction with industry training organisation, The Skills Organisation, is initiating a series of nation-wide events designed to help up-skill our educators. The inaugural Teachers’ Workchoice Day events will unite educators and employers in a bid to help our youth become better work-ready.

Amanda Wheeler, CEO of Workchoice Trust, says New Zealand educators need to be given the opportunity to up-skill by gaining a ‘real-life’ insight into industry so they can better prepare our youth for the world of work.

“In New Zealand and around the world, it’s rare that employers are connecting with education providers, yet these are the two key stakeholders in the successful transition of our youth from education to employment,” explains Ms Wheeler.

“With almost 40% of employers citing a lack of skills as the main reason for entry-level vacancies, we feel it’s vital that these two sectors stop operating in silos and start talking.”

“Our Teachers’ Workchoice Day initiative is a positive and proactive step in the right direction, allowing for real world learning to be taken back into the classroom,” adds Ms Wheeler.

Garry Fissenden, CEO of The Skills Organisation - the official partner for the 2013 Teachers’ Workchoice Day programme – says that the organisation is proud to be involved with Teacher’s Workchoice Day.

“Teacher’s Workchoice Day will ensure schools are better prepared to provide more specific career advice to students. It will also ensure that industry is connected with this country’s future innovators and workplace leaders,” says Mr Fissenden.

Based on the theme, ‘Step into my world’, the events, which are being held in Auckland and Christchurch, will offer a unique opportunity for professional development to careers advisers, secondary school teachers and management. They’ll be given a fresh look at the world of work by leading organisations including Microsoft, Fuji Xerox, Fulton Hogan and Seek, giving them increased industry knowledge and understanding that can be taken back to the classroom.

During each event, prominent industry speakers will share their expertise around developments in their sectors, youth employment, recruitment developments and trends, ensuring transition success and what employers are looking for when hiring youth. Attendees will also be given the choice of visiting one of several industries to gain a deeper understanding of their chosen industry at work.

Workchoice Trust has been helping bridge the gap between youth and industry for the past 19 years, with the aim of giving New Zealand students the employment advantage. Teachers’ Workchoice Day comes on the back of the Trust’s successful, long-standing student-focused Workchoice Day programme, which to date, has helped more than 150,000 students.

The Trust would like to see Teachers’ Workchoice Day become an annual event, enabling educators throughout New Zealand to take advantage of the opportunity to up-skill for the benefit of their students.

Teachers’ Workchoice Day 2013 events:

Auckland: 16th August – Ellerslie Convention Centre

Christchurch: 23rd August – Russley Golf Course


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