School part­ners with business

Cambridge Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE BAIN

Waikato stu­dents who have been given the chance to work along­side busi­nesses are now mak­ing bet­ter choices about how to move from school into the work­force.

It’s also pro­vided them with a higher sense of value on their sec­ondary school ed­u­ca­tion.

Cam­bridge High School was one of 22 in the Waikato ben­e­fit­ing from the Sec­ondary School Em­ployer Part­ner­ship, launched by Smart Waikato in 2016.

The part­ner­ship aimed to help stu­dents make solid school sub­ject choices which will see them suc­cess­fully move into fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment, im­prove achieve­ment and re­ten­tion.

The pro­gramme was ex­pected this year to reach about 3000 Waikato stu­dents along with 170 em­ploy­ers and 100 teach­ers.

Fol­low­ing last year’s suc­cess, which had over 100 Cam­bridge High School Year 10 stu­dents and teach­ers en­gage with a range of em­ploy­ers, the school em­braced the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue its in­volve­ment for a sec­ond year.

Cam­bridge High School deputy prin­ci­pal Carol Webb said the part­ner­ship ini­tia­tive fit­ted well with the school’s core pur­pose to de­velop young peo­ple who can nav­i­gate ef­fi­ciently and com­pe­tently into life be­yond school.

‘‘Stu­dents need to see the rel­e­vance of what they are learn­ing, and by work­ing along­side business, this be­comes ob­vi­ous.

‘‘Our Year 11 stu­dents who par­tic­i­pated last year were over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive about the ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ Webb said.

Stu­dent Hinewai Knowles said the ex­pe­ri­ence showed which jobs could be ideal for her.

‘‘It sparked an in­ter­est in engi­neer­ing, and this is a change from what I had been think­ing,’’ she said.

A visit to a dairy farm for Troy Bartlett, now in Year 11, made him ‘‘think se­ri­ously about pos­si­ble jobs in this in­dus­try’’.

For Josh Stan­nard, it helped to hear from peo­ple in the in­dus­try and how they ap­ply sci­ence in their jobs.

‘‘It re­in­forced my in­ter­est in sci­ence. I have set my heart on a ca­reer in the med­i­cal sciences, and now I am more de­ter­mined.’’

Smart Waikato chief ex­ec­u­tive Mary Jensen said it was en­cour­ag­ing to see sup­port for an ini­tia­tive pro­vid­ing a frame­work for em­ploy­ers to en­gage di­rectly with a sec­ondary school.

Waipa Dis­trict Coun­cil’s Be­van Heath shows Cam­bridge High School sci­ence stu­dent Liam Bradley wa­ter test­ing equip­ment, in 2017.

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