Bridging a gap between the classroom and the workplace

Issue: Volume 96, Number 16

Posted: 11 September 2017
Reference #: 1H9ec_

Now in its fourth year, Teachers’ Workchoice Day supports educators and businesses to have meaningful conversations and build stronger connections with each other.

On 21 September in Auckland, hundreds of educators will connect with employers, industry leaders, and other educators in a one-day programme focused on youth employability.

Teachers’ Workchoice Day has a proud history of bridging the gap between the classroom and the workplace. In previous years, the event has led directly to work experience placements for students and new relationships between schools and businesses.

Workchoice is a youth employment organisation that since 2015 has has been part of The Skills Organisation, the country’s largest industry training organisation (ITO).

Why Workchoice Day?

“The climate of employment and employability is changing. To best prepare young people today, the classroom needs to adapt as well,” says Workchoice manager Shaun Gear.

The classroom today is dramatically different from what it was 10, or even five, years ago. The influence of technology on both the school system and the workplace means that conversation between the two needs to be frequent, open, and focused on the same goal: preparing New Zealand youth for the future.

Shaun says Workchoice has been around for 23 years, but its special teachers’ event has been running for around three.

“The 2013 McKinsey report Education to Employment(external link) highlighted the need for more teachers to be aware of what was happening in the world of work. So here at Workchoice that gave us an opportunity to look at our work and how we could apply that to supporting teachers,” he says.

“This event was about us wanting to connect teachers and industry in more meaningful ways, so that young people themselves could be supported in their future work pathways.

“At the same time, we’re well aware that schools and teachers have plenty going on – we don’t want to put more pressure on them but rather support them in a positive way where we’re able to.”

Workchoice Day 2017

There are two parts to Teachers’ Workchoice Day:

  • The programme opens with a morning symposium at Spark NZ. Here, experienced business leaders will discuss youth employability. The keynote speaker will be Andrew Patterson, a renowned business correspondent and broadcaster who has interviewed more than 1,000 CEOs and business leaders. With his bold vision for the support of and investment in youth, he is sure to inspire.
  • Industry visits in the afternoon will give participants the chance to see how technology and innovation are changing the world of work. Participants can choose from several high-profile organisations to visit. With names such as McDonald’s, Fletcher Building, Ports of Auckland, and NZME on offer, there are numerous employment pathways to explore. 

“The greatest benefit of the industry-led day will be for school subject teachers, senior managers of secondary schools, and tertiary staff,” says Shaun.

“Participants get to hear directly from employers about what they value when hiring at entry level. In addition, the workplace visits demonstrate the reality of the rapidly changing world of work.”

Shaun is thrilled to bring new energy to the 2017 Teachers’ Workchoice Day, noting that the response to the event “has always been outstanding”.

“In past years, teachers have all said how awesome it was and how much they enjoyed the day. So we’re really happy to be able to provide the experience,” he says.

“We expect this year to be no different. Actually, it will be better!”

A number of the events are already booked out at time of writing, but more events are in the pipeline.

Shaun says Workchoice is always on the lookout for willing schools and regions across the country who are interested in running their own local versions of the day.

“We’re keen to see how different communities can connect the dots – we look at where there are opportunities and where we can help educators connect with employers, with the common goal of creating a bright future for our young people.”

Interested teachers and schools are welcome to contact Shaun for more information.

Teachers’ Workchoice Day takes place in Auckland on 21 September 2017. Registration is free and bookings are essential. Company visits are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. The programme is delivered by Workchoice (powered by Skills).
To register or find out more, please visit link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:15 AM, 11 September 2017

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