23 Jun 2015
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TradeMe prepares Kiwi students for the working world

By Catherine Knowles

Trade Me is working to support students throughout New Zealand, encouraging them to consider different careers and recognise that there are many different paths to success.

As part of the 'Earn and Learn' programme run by Workchoice Trust, Fren Bellingham, Trade Me Jobs marketing manager, has been talking to students about her career pathway into Trade Me.

Workchoice Trust is a charity that focuses on youth employment, and the 'Earn and Learn' programme informs students about opportunities in apprenticeships, cadetships and trades, and explains how students can successfully prepare for a variety of entry-level roles.

More recently, Bellingham talked to 20 students from St Catherine's College and Hutt Valley High School about opportunities available and alternative paths to success.

“It’s great to be able to let students know there isn’t just one pathway to success. Some students learn differently - like me, the traditional education system doesn’t suit everyone.

“I needed to be hands-on and found success learning on the job. My career path started in radio after a short course straight from school,” she says.

Trade Me will also be hosting teachers as part of Workchoice Teachers’ Day, which gives educators a fresh look at the world of work.

It emphasises the need for better industry knowledge and understanding to be incorporated into the classroom.

Amanda Wheeler, Workchoice CEO, says while there are some exceptions, most secondary schools have a strong focus on academic results rather than career and employability knowledge, and therefore don't provide transition experiences and connections with the world of work.

The result of this can be unprepared future workers, she says.

“Many young people have no idea how to market themselves successfully and little understanding of the recruitment process.

“They don’t know about skills shortages, employability skills and may not realise what one job can lead them into,” says Wheeler.

Bellingham says, “Today’s job market is dynamic. There are many jobs now that simply didn’t exist 10 years ago.

“Many organisations have a strong focus on hiring people who fit the business’ culture and are passionate about what they do - both at work and outside it. It’s not always about what qualification you’ve got but your attitude and experience that is key."

Arthur Graves, the Ministry of Education’s Group Manager for Youth Guarantee, says, “This sort of collaboration between business and education will ensure that school leavers are highly skilled and ‘work ready’.

“Relevancy in education is crucial, and can only be achieved when industry are actively involved. We are encouraging businesses and schools to source similar partnerships around the country. Learning happens both inside and outside of the traditional classroom.”

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