Posted on

Pathways to employment

Building strong relationships with local secondary schools and employers is critical to channelling young talent into the right pathways to employment.

In July 2019 Cabinet agreed to the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE). This reform offered an opportunity to encourage more people to consider vocational education as a pathway to employment. As part of this initiative, 20 brokerage positions were created throughout the country and tendered to suitable organisations.

Here at the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce, we exist to unlock business vitality. We support local business growth through effective promotion and business development opportunities. The Education to Employment Brokerage service was a natural fit for the Chamber as we had identified a need to bring our young people into local jobs. Even prior to Covid-19 our business community was consistently telling us that the single biggest barrier to business confidence was their inability to employ skilled and unskilled people across the region.

Local businesses also told us that they were not engaged with local young people, though many had a desire to employ directly from our community. All they needed was some support to understand the Government programmes and develop relationships with our community schools and students.

Our business community has identified it is critical to address this by building strong relationships with our local secondary schools and employers, to channel the young talent within our community into rewarding, local vocational employment.

Since the commencement of the Ministry of Social Development funded E2EB service in the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce, we have worked to increase the familiarity between business and schools. This includes class trips to local businesses, or individuals spending time with employers to find out what it takes and what that industry is about.

One such employer is Mike Renner of Renner Fencing. If you know Mike you’ll know he’s passionate about fencing and the opportunities for young people to earn a living in a growing industry. Mike has taken several young people and shown them the world of fencing, both in school time and over the holidays. One student has become a regular with Mike and has the potential to move onto a fencing apprenticeship.

Through opportunities such as the one Renner Fencing offered, or school visits to workplaces, or people from the world of work coming into schools, we are able to increase young people’s awareness of the opportunities that exist in their own community.

Here at the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce we’re passionate about contextual education. In Marlborough, we’ve been working with schools and teachers to find opportunities for businesses to support learning in class. What better way to learn basic maths than to help someone like Mike lay out a fence line, calculate the number of posts, wire, staples… and of course working out the relative value of an
hourly rate versus contract.

If you think this is something you’d like to be involved in, google Education to Employment Brokerage in your local area and see what difference you can make to your industry, to young people and to your community. Or you could ring Mike and see what he has to say!

Article supplied by The Marlborough Chamber of Commerce

  Marlborough Chamber of Commerce New Zealand   

Published in the Fencing Careers & Training feature in WIRED March 2022 by Fencing Contractors NZ