Transitioning into the world of work while at school

Issue: Volume 97, Number 19

Posted: 26 October 2018
Reference #: 1H9n9_

Often when students leave high school they are not aware of the range of job opportunities available. It is also difficult to hear first-hand from industries about what is involved or potentially be offered a job. A recent series of career events called ‘Got A Trade? Got It Made!’ created these connections.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa student Richard Coupe prepares for interviews with the help of his father Nick Barbara.

The event, led by the Industry Training Federation and supported by the Ministry of Education, was part of a series of events that aim to connect students and schools with trades and services. Participating students underwent mini-interviews with training organisations and employers. The outcome for some students can be an offer of training, apprenticeships or employment.

The job market is constantly changing

Lytton High School Principal Wiremu Elliott says career planning and job seeking are different nowadays, and this event is an opportunity for students to talk to a range of employers and begin their transition into the world of work while they’re at school.

“Everybody talks about ‘I wish I had known when I was at that age’. Here’s the opportunity to find about these things. By talking to a range of employers, you got an opportunity to find out what that industry has to offer,” says Wiremu.

“I think you can make some amazing and more powerful decisions if you’re well informed. And a better way to be informed is to talk to these industries.”

Keeping an open mind

Campion College student Madeleine Pittar is currently working at a bookshop and participating in Gateway this year. She says she wants to continue improving her customer service skills so she can work in a veterinary clinic reception. When asked what advice she can give to other young people, she says they should keep an open mind and look at all the options.

“It may not be that you go to a career that you want. Sometimes you might find something else that you like to do and you think, ‘this is more of what I’m looking for’.

“So just take in new information and see what other options there are out there.”

Common misconception

Matapuna Training Centre teacher Keelan Poi thinks that the common misconception around trades is that it’s something that is not a first choice for young people.

“Parents, everybody, society, sort of tells you to go to a university, get a degree and you’ll be successful. Whereas in trades, it’s something you settle for. But in my experience, a trade is really a key part
of society.”

“I’m also an auto electrician and a diesel mechanic. There are so many things wrapped up in trades such as chemistry and maths in order to understand how to get an engine running. So in trades, you get the theory side and you also do the practical [part of it].”

What employers are looking for

Connexis ITO NZ Careers Manager Candice Tiananga thought the event worked really well and the students were we’ll prepared. She shares the top three qualities they’re looking for in an applicant.

“Number one is attitude. You make sure that when you meet someone you shake their hand, you make eye contact and present yourself well. Next one would be having your driver’s license.”

“The third one would be time management. If you have to start at 7.30 am, you’re there at 7.20 am. You’ve already had your breakfast, you’ve got all your PPE [personal protective equipment] gear on and you’re ready to get going.”

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 4:10 pm, 26 October 2018

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