Finding the path to success

Issue: Volume 95, Number 11

Posted: 20 June 2016
Reference #: 1H9d2U

The Vocational Pathways programme is helping to increase the numbers of young people focusing on and planning for their futures while they are in education.

We all want the best futures for our children.

There are so many career options to consider. It is important to make informed choices at school, to earn sufficient NCEA credits, and to have a clear pathway from school to study or work.

For most students, the best results come from learning relevant skills in real-life situations, both in and out of the classroom.

Vocational Pathways supports the achievement of NCEA Level 2 and also helps students figure out what skills they need to make a career in something they enjoy. Mapped into six broad sectors, the programme helps educators, families and employers to support students to progress through education and training to employment.

Learning and giving back

As a result of their involvement with Vocational Pathways, students at Tikipunga High School in Northland are planning a joint project with their local hapū. They aim to produce a number of large artworks that will be auctioned during an exhibition being held to showcase students’ artwork and kapa haka.

Funds from the proposed event will go to the students’ Māori Performing Arts and Carving Course (MCP) which is managed by Te Taitokerau Trades Academy.

As part of this, students will earn NCEA credits that will contribute to further study or work. Not only are these teenagers learning skills in historical research, planning and carving, they are also creating artwork that reflects their cultural identity.

The programme is run by whāea Te Aomihia Taua-Glassie and master carver Robert Māhanga, who is ecstatic to have been able to return to Whangarei and assist in the whakairo programme.

“The students have chosen this course because of a love of Māori creative studies,” says Te Aomihia.

“For some, this will be a pathway to a career in the arts. Right here in Tikipunga students can learn this specialised skill without having to go all the way to the National Carving School in Rotorua. They will also have the foundations to progress to the new Bachelor of Māori Arts at NorthTec.”

Earning NCEA Credits

Students on the course also earn credits through Māori Performing Arts for their NCEA qualifications. They complete their theory during their normal timetable school day and do their practical after school or during weekends at kapa haka practice.

“As part of their courses the students are doing valuable cultural and historical research, which is used to support other subjects at school,” says Te Aomihia.

“Subjects included are Māori music composition that aligns with Level 2 and Level 3 achievement standards, crafted writing and speech making for te reo and music – the kids love this.”

Te Aomihia says as well as learning history and skills in the arts, students are also learning to speak Māori as an integral component of learning Māori arts.

“This means that our students will not only be confident in their kapa haka performances and the production of their art works, but also in their reo Māori me ōna tikanga."

“The programme provides an opportunity for our students to be active participants in their communities. They assist at various gatherings by being waiters/waitresses at the Waitangi Tribunal held at Tau Henare Marae, performing at local schools and retirement homes, conducting pōwhiri for overseas visitors to Whangarei, facilitating activities on school camps and teaching other students."

“Notably, the students helped plan, manage and evaluate the Secondary Schools Speech Competition – Ngā Manu Kōrero. This was a major event in the Tai Tokerau region. All of these contributions show the importance not only of learning useful skills and knowledge from the Māori Performing Arts and Carving Course, but of giving back to the community and continuing the creative traditions of our culture.”

Joanna Smith, manager of Te Taitokerau Trades Academy, says students feel empowered by the success they are having in continuing their education in subjects that they are passionate about.

“Students who had in the past missed classes are now attending their programmes with renewed focus and a drive to be the best they can be,” she says.

Profile Builder a key tool

A significant component of Vocational Pathways, Profile Builder helps young people, parents, family, whānau, and educators explore skills, talents and achievements. It also assists with planning future study and work, with links to more than 700 jobs through Careers New Zealand.

CareerQuest and Skills Matcher on the Careers New Zealand website lets young people explore their skills and interests and show how these can lead to jobs. CareerQuest starts with the things students are passionate about so they can find jobs they’ll enjoy; Skills Matcher starts with what the student is good at to find jobs they will be able to do.

From here, young people can work through the different levels of Profile Builder. This also enables young people to show prospective employers how their school achievements are relevant to the jobs they are applying for; it helps employers see at a glance whether a job applicant has the skills they need (maybe including skills from another sector that might enrich the position on offer), by organising credits achieved according to the six pathways.

Visit http://youthguarantee.net.nz/vocational-pathways/profile-builder/(external link) for more information.

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

Posted: 11:11 PM, 20 June 2016

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