Kawerau Students offered new experience

Date published: August 28, 2013 at 10:23 am | Comments

Following ISKawerau’s April seminar on the opportunities and challenges of employing locally, local industry are taking the lead in providing a wide range of work experience opportunities for students residing in Kawerau.   The programme will provide up to 60 opportunities for year 13 students to experience firsthand what it is like to work in a variety of industrial organisations in their home town.

“The response from industry has been tremendous and more organisations are likely to come on board before the end of the year” said Su Cammell, Project Manager, ISKawerau.    “This has resulted in the programme being extended to include Kawerau students attending Whakatane and Edgecumbe secondary schools.”

The programme entails an “Advertisement” being placed in participating schools with students completing an application if a position appeals.   A short list for each position will be drawn up by the employer and interviews with them during November this year will decide the successful applicants.    In-work programmes will commence from March 2014 with each student receiving an evaluation at the completion of their term.   Some placements will attract relevant NZCE credits and although there are no guarantees of obtaining a paid position at the end of the voluntary work experience, all students will receive a work and character reference and assistance with their CV.

This programme is designed to provide a real-life experience with some students required to take a drug and alcohol test.   “Strong health and safety processes are vital when dealing with machinery and large industry” said Cammell.   “These sorts of tests are necessary and a day to day part of working in Kawerau.”    Students will be expected to work within the same workplace processes as staff and will be evaluated on their attitude, motivation, timekeeping, behaviour, interest in the industry, ability to learn and willingness to take on duties and/or responsibilities.

ISKawerau recognise there is a gap between employers and potential employees, particularly in the youth sector,  and see this initiative as a first step in improving the situation.     It also provides a pathway to a more inclusive relationship with schools and training service providers.    Jacob Kajavala, Deputy Chair of ISKawerau is enthusiastic about the programme.    “We need to give our young ones the future they deserve,” said Jacob.   “We are committed to establishing this programme and seeing it develop in a way that works for both students and industry.”

Source: Contributed