Children at the heart of the updated Education Act

Issue: Volume 96, Number 2

Posted: 29 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9d53

The Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 puts the progress and achievement of children and young people at the centre of the legislation that guides our education system.

A new social media platform connects young people to educators, service providers and businesses to inspire and support them as they move from education to employment.

A free online platform aims to bridge the gap between education and employment for young people.

Launched in September last year and sometimes likened to ‘LinkedIn for students,’ Youth Hub provides a place for young people to let their talents shine and to build connections for their future.

Youth Hub is aimed at young people aged between 14 and 24, with each user creating a profile page about their work experiences and achievements, and gaining access to youth-friendly job listings, services and training, such as CV-writing workshops.

Schools can also sign up to follow and connect with past and current students, and access information about career-related events and opportunities. The service is free of cost for students and schools.

Kaitaia College principal Jack Saxon says that for his school, the timing was right for such a service.

“It couldn’t have been more perfect from our perspective as we were starting to revision our approach to careers education, and wanted to connect students more intimately with potential pathways and employers. Youth Hub ticks both of these boxes.”

He believes key to the site’s success is its alignment to social media platforms students are already using.

“The almost ‘Facebook’ feel of the tool allows students to continually access it to enhance their employment profiles,” he explains.

“The potential for employers and other organisations to connect with this tool and develop partnerships in the digital space significantly extends on traditional career networking vehicles.”

Jack says that, most importantly, Youth Hub has the potential to galvanise the wider Kaitaia community in finding pathways for students.

“Our school has a strong partnership with our five Muriwhenua iwi and they are incredibly excited about the potential of the tool to help them connect tamariki to iwi-based pathways.

“They’re also excited about the ability to track our tamariki and provide further support for them to ensure their employment aspirations are realised.”

The back-end data provided by Youth Hub to the school is also helpful in shaping the vision of the college.

“Within the school, our ability to more accurately gauge the pathways lens of our students via this data, and then tailor student programmes to meet these needs, is immense and exciting,” he says.

Youth Hub founder Senthil Perumal spent several years developing the site and was named one of the Top 10 Innovators in the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year awards for his work.

“Although there are fantastic services, businesses and educators doing great things for youth, there has been no central system to achieve collective impact,” he says.

“Youth Hub has all the fundamentals of social media user experiences that our young people are so conversant with. It allows a young person who might struggle to showcase their real self if they do not have an amazing CV to do so, thereby levelling the playing field for all young people. It also places the youth in the driving seat to navigate their career based on their own passions and skills.

“We live in an incredibly exciting time for youth because they’ve got more options available to them than ever before – they can truly become anything they set their minds to and work towards. That’s an awesome opportunity but it can also be quite overwhelming, so our platform is there to help guide and inspire them to make the best possible start to whatever career they choose.”

Schools and students are invited to sign up at youthhub.co.nz(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 2:16 PM, 29 May 2017

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