Get a career
Young students who might’ve been a bit bored with school and wondered what relevance it has for the transition to the big wide world of working for a living got a taste of the sort of careers that are on offer during the recent Got a Trade Week.
One student jumped on a helicopter for a ride to Clyde Dam and another was taken to look at rally cars. The trade swap helps to make things clearer in terms of how what you’re learning in the classroom may be a gateway to exciting career options.
The week, organized by the Industry Training Federation (ITF) and held in August, focused on the importance of encouraging educational pathways that will provide students with a sense of purpose and direction.
The best and brightest apprentices in New Zealand were also celebrated at an awards night held as part of the week. “We held a forum earlier in the day with the 50 apprentices who had been nominated by their Industry Training Organisations [ITOs] and that was really exciting,” said Josh Williams, chief executive of the ITF. “The awards had an awesome vibe and was hosted by Industry Training Minister Louise Upton. We wanted to recognize excellence in business management and leadership in young apprentices who are going through the system. It’s often difficult for students to relate to people who have already ‘made it’ so we wanted to highlight the stories of some young people who were in the process of gaining skills. We thought [that] students would be inspired by someone who was only two or three years up the chain. It’s more relatable.”
This is the campaign’s third year and for the first time a School of the Year award was also presented as a way of showcasing some of the ways educators could promote a range of pathways to
future careers other than going down the route to university.
“Seven out of 10 school-leavers don’t go to uni, so it’s incredibly important that students realize the options they have to upskill after leaving school,” said Williams. “There’s an incredibly diverse range of opportunities to gain a trade or qualification while you’re working on the job earning. What could be better than a free education?”
The Got a Trade campaign website has made videos available online featuring nine Got a Trade Heroes nominated by ITOs who talk about what they do, where they are in their training, and how they got into their apprenticeships.
“There are many industries screaming out for skilled workers and both here and overseas there is a renaissance of the apprenticeship model with the acknowledgement that when workers are trained within an industry you get the skills you need,” said Williams.
He explained that the perception of trades as being somehow “dumbed down” was fast disappearing: “One of the exciting things with new technology is the crossover in disciplines that is happening. There are high-tech industries which need skilled employees for very complex jobs, like training as a wind electricity technologist — it’s sort of like being half an electrician and half an engineer. We really want to do some myth busting about the jobs that are available, the people who do them, and the kinds of training and skills needed.”
He said the week also hoped to encourage employers to take on apprentices: “All employers remember the person who took them on and gave them a chance to work. It’s a way of looking after your industry and paying it forward.
“Ultimately we just want to contextualize what ITOs have on offer and the huge range of occupational training that comes under their umbrella. There’s some wonderful opportunities and we want to let students know that in the last three years of school it’s not just a matter of picking subjects out of a timetable. There are some definite pathways that can lead to exciting career opportunities.”
For more information, head online to gotatrade.co.nz.
Talented Hastings barber Peleti Oli received the Pasifika Community Impact Award
Air New Zealand customer-service agent Jahmaine Cummings-Hodge received the Maori Community Impact Award
Graphic and web designer Myra Anderson, received the evening’s top honour, Industry Trainee of the Year
The inaugural School of the Year Award was presented to Kawakawabased Bay of Islands College