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Youth programme launched to foster NZ's future leaders

By Catherine Knowles, Mon 14 Dec 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

With the intent of encouraging New Zealand’s young people to become the leaders of tomorrow, OMGTech! has launched its Youth Leadership programme.

In partnership with the Ministry of Youth Development, OMGTech! has established the programme to provide training and resources relating to science and technology to young people in New Zealand.

Nikki Kaye, Youth Minister, said the Ministry will provide $25,000 of funding for the programme.

 She says, “This investment will help foster 20 young leaders from decile 1 and 2 schools to empower other young people in their communities to learn about and become familiar with using future technologies.”

OMGTech! says the Youth Leadership programme has been designed to help New Zealand create a strong pipeline of future leaders in the technical space, and these leaders will be seen as positive role models within their communities and be able to help define the technology of the future.

Dr Michelle Dickinson, OMGTech! co-founder, says, "Empowering the next generation of leaders is important for the science and technology future of New Zealand.

“I'm excited to help to create a new platform which not only builds confidence in young people but also enables them to take the knowledge and experiences they learn from our leadership program and take technology education back to their communities.”

According to OMGTech!, the Youth Leadership programme will begin as a weekend course held in Auckland, where students can get hands on interactive training and group process skills. Following this, students will be paired with a mentor who is currently working in the science and technology sector for 12 months.

Furthermore, OMGTech! will provide resources for the leaders to set up modern learning environments within their local communities, including at a library, Marae, school or community centre through a curiosity led discovery learning platform.

OMGTech! says lack of gender and ethnic diversity in STEM fields is a global issue, and research shows that more diverse technical teams produce more financially successful business outcomes as well as increases confidence for improved diversity in senior leadership roles.  

The Government is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in state-of-the-art digital infrastructure in our schools, and recently outlined broader work underway to enhance students’ digital fluency.  

According to OMGTech!, it’s important that young people, regardless of where they live or go to school, have hands-on access to these technologies that will shape their future, and through this programme the company hopes to encourage and enable better engagement with science and technology within all communities in New Zealand.

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