Hero photograph
KiwiHost Course
Photo by Marion Brinsley

The Careers Department Report

Marion Brinsley (HOD) —

3 out of 10 students who start high school will end up at university. 10 out 10 students will enter the workforce. Never before have there been so many challenges and opportunities for our young people as they begin to explore career pathways, identify resources and supports and build employability skills. 

We know, from employers via numerous studies and conversations with them that the key skills they want from their employees, whether they be school leavers or post-graduates, are: Interpersonal and Communication skills, Problem-solving, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking and Decision Making skills, Teamwork and Negotiation Skills. With this in mind the Careers Department continues to adapt and change to meet the demands our students will face. We have done this in the following ways:

Firstly we offer 2 subject options to best prepare all students with work-based competencies and skills, an awareness of what employers want and an action plan of how to make career goals happen.

1. Career Pathways at Year 12 offers an NCEA level 2 course with some off-campus courses and experiences. Through active, exploratory, ‘on your feet’ and moving around investigations of ‘real-world’ scenarios in an open-space learning environment students will develop foundational employability skills. The pro-social and collaborative emphasis in Career Pathways as we work towards building communication skills, teamwork, creative flexibility, resilience, risk taking, openness to new ideas and specific self-marketing and career planning skills, will create a capacity for successful transition into the world of work as can be experienced through Gateway in Year 13.

2. Gateway at Year 13 offers an NCEA Level 3 course which is an active employability skill-based learning programme so students will be up on their feet both in the class room and on work placement. There have been some significant changes to Gateway in 2016 that have resulted in excellent outcomes for students regarding work experiences and feedback from employers, development of competencies, credit acquisition (averaging 27 credits/student), and job offers and university placements. Some of these changes are:

- We have done away with the standard 1 day/week out of school. As a minimum of 10 work placement days (or the equivalent in hours) are necessary to meet the requirements of the funding body, TEC, there is now flexibility in when students experience these hours eg. some may take place during the weekend, school holidays, ½ days or 1 day/ week during the term if all school work goals are well-managed.

- Work placements are now secured by the student using the approaches learned in class and with the support of the teacher and Careers Department resulting in “how to obtain work” competencies being practiced, but in a supportive environment, and an increased engagement, sense of satisfaction and value being experienced and expressed by the students.

Please read the course outlines on the school’s website for further information or contact Ms Brinsley at school.

We have continued to offer the following supports and services through our Career Resource Centre:

· Career Guidance and information

· Support with scholarships and applications including those to Teacher’s College, Nursing, University and Polytechnic etc

· Tertiary and ITO liaison visits to the school and off-campus visits to including our Tertiary Open Day in May for all Year 13 and some Year 12 pupils and the Careers Expo visit in June attended by all Year 11 and 12 students, and

· Maori and Pacific Islands Student Happenings: A wide variety of activities are supported through the Careers Department such as the Tupuranga Homework Programme (Thursday after school), Tupuranga (Maori and Pacific Islands Student Leadership Team) meetings and related activities, and topic-based career education workshops including Career Exploration and CV Writing. We also enjoy a close relationship with the Otago University Maori Centre and the Pacific Island Centre.