WORKCHOICE NEWSLETTER 2006 - Workchoice Trust
FROM THE CHAIRPERSON Meeting several groups of students during Workchoice Day this year once again brought home the reality of what the day is all about. It is about our young people and what we can all do as employers to help them make more informed career choices. Their enthusiastic involvement in the Day's programme certainly makes all the effort worthwhile. The effort and creativity of many employers and, in particular, key staff members is a real inspiration that is appreciated by students and at the same time makes the Workchoice team's role so rewarding. On behalf of the trustees and staff of the Workchoice Trust, I must pass on our sincere appreciation to our 2006 sponsors, hosting and funding organisations. Our vision to ease the transition from school to employment for New Zealand’s future workforce could not be achieved without the support of participating companies. It is not simply their financial support we recognise but the level of planning and coordination that goes into student visits. We also recognise the effort put into the day by school career advisors and coordinators – a big thank you to you all. This year was our twelfth Workchoice Day and with enthusiastic feedback from both companies and students the Trust is motivated once again to improve the Workchoice experience. We launched our new website earlier this year and have just completed the student online forum section which provides students with the opportunity to ask questions that have arisen since their visits on Workchoice Day. The forums are supported by over 90 mentors from participating Workchoice Day companies who have volunteered their time to further assist students making career decisions. We look forward to further expanding the Workchoice Day experience in the regions of New Zealand in 2007 as well as continuing old and forging new relationships, all with the common goal of supporting New Zealand’s future workforce. FROM THE STUDENTS This year we have reports from students who visited health and hospitality sites. These are two areas of great demand and while we met the demand for health for the first time, we still have a way to go before meeting hospitality demand. Suchi Rathod and Farhad Ali were two of the Year 12 students from Lynfield College who had the opportunity to visit Waitemata District Health Board’s North Shore Hospital. Suchi and Farhad were both interested in health careers and their assumption was that a hospital centred around “doctors, nurses, blood and guts!” Seeing areas as diverse as emergency care, radiation therapy, maternity care and non-clinical jobs certainly took them beyond such assumptions and gave them a “clear idea of all the different career possibilities in health”. Wendy Keir, Careers Advisor at Lynfield, has said that every student who went on Workchoice Day will have a follow up visit with her next year when they are choosing what to do next. Most will start the first year of Health Science and if successful, will move on to their area of interest. Wendy cannot emphasise enough the importance of Workchoice Day for challenging student perceptions and giving them real direction. Keita Crang-Parsons, a Year 12 student at Marist College, had a similar experience when she visited Soul Bar & Bistro, on Auckland’s waterfront. Like Suchi and Farhad, the experience “taught me and showed me things that I didn’t know about the hospitality industry. I learnt about the presentation of the restaurant, how to manage a bar, what responsibilities you have, what you need to know being a bar manager and the exciting experiences of being a Chef. “This experience has made me look forward to a future career in the industry and has showed me a variety of jobs that I am interested in fulfilling for a career. I am now really eager to get out there and start my career and work my way up to the top.” We wish these students well on their future career path and would love to have updates on how they are going.
2006 REGIONAL REPORTS: NORTH ISLAND REPORTS AUCKLAND Kathy McCombe, Trust Development Manager and Natalie Bell, Administrator Enthusiasm from Auckland workplaces continues with another 45 new companies joining the programme. With industry still facing labour shortages, companies and organisations continue to see the benefits of the Workchoice Day concept. We were delighted to have Soul Bar and Bistro come on board this year to host students interested in hospitality as a career option. Students were exposed to the day-to-day running of a restaurant and were then rewarded by being served a delicious lunch. Sky City Auckland also joined us in hosting over 100 students and exposing them to the varying roles within the company. As a bonus there was a prize draw for two lucky students to bungy jump. Needless to say that went down a treat. Student interest was high in health, hospitality and trades and apart from hospitality we were able to meet student demand. Unfortunately 300 students with an interest in hospitality had to stay at school this year due to a lack of relevant companies. The Trust endeavors to rectify this for next year by meeting with both the Hospitality Association and the Restaurant Association of New Zealand to encourage their members to participate in the Workchoice Day programme. WAIKATO The Workchoice Day concept continues to catch on in the Waikato region within the Engineering sector, which is supported by WECA (Waikato Engineering Careers Association) and also by our national companies such as the New Zealand Police, Fletcher Building, ASB and Fulton Hogan. Feedback from both companies and students highlighted events of the day and the importance of forging relationships between local businesses and schools. Career Advisors have since been in contact with the Trust and confirmed the above. Ongoing relationships have since been established in the way of work experience or through a company staff member visiting the school and talking to a class and contributing to classroom learning. BAY OF PLENTY Introducing Workchoice Day in the Bay of Plenty this year was met with enthusiasm with four companies and four schools registering for the day. The students visited Connell Wagner, City Care, Fonterra and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Quarantine. Feedback from both students and companies was very positive and we have had further enquiries from both schools and companies as to how they could become involved in 2007 – watch this space. NORTHLAND One of the highlights of Workchoice Day in Whangarei was a visit by Ruawai College to the Whangarei Police Station. Students reported that the visits made them think about staying out of trouble and keeping fit and that it also made them think differently about the police in general. Students also visited Fulton Hogan and Niwa. WELLINGTON Overall the day was a success this year with really positive feedback coming in from both schools and companies. This year we had a good representation from all industry sectors, especially health and engineering. As always there is still a high demand from students to see hospitality sites but with very few of these sites participating it was hard to meet student needs. A workshop for both schools and organisations was held in March of this year with the aim of bringing companies and school Career Advisors together before the day to discuss planning. It would be good to see more schools attending these workshops.