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Colour-coding helps in the Game of Life

Students with burning questions about their futures could find answers at the inaugural Game of Life careers event next week.

Designed by students for students, it is to be held at the Farmers Air Event Centre on Thursday, April 8.

The aim of Game of Life is to show students the learning and career opportunities in Tairawhiti, along with the realities and challenges that come with work.

It arose out of conversations between students, employers and whanau which highlighted a perception that to be successful students must be encouraged to go to university.

One student in those discussions said that if she had been given a better idea of what was available to her locally, she may have looked at building her career here.

Gisborne Girls’ High School principal Jan Kumar encourages all students to make the most of this experience.

“Any opportunity for our students to interact with community members and employers and learn about future work prospects is welcome.”

In 2019 the Government provided funding towards employment education so schools could create events to promote local industries.

Local employers have welcomed this fresh approach of linking education to work and will engage with an estimated 1400 students aged from 13 to 18 on the day.

To date, 70-plus youth-friendly employers from infrastructure, primary, social and community, services, manufacturing and technology, and the creative sectors have confirmed their participation.

Interactive activities and visuals will increase student engagement.

Each sector will be colour-coded using the vocational pathways colours. Students have been completing career quizzes and job research in school which will provide them with some direction (indicated by the sector colours) when they arrive at the event.

There will even be an “IDK” (I Don’t Know) tent.

Students will be able to talk to employers and find out about career opportunities, subjects they should be studying at school, work entry requirements, follow-up site visits, Licence to Work and Gateway work placements, apprenticeships and tertiary education qualifications.

“It is more important now than ever that we support employers by preparing our future workforce,” says Karen Fenn of Trust Tairawhiti’s Licence to Work programme.

“Our young people’s potential is enormous and it is essential we continue to enable them to realise it by providing collaborative and engaging platforms where they can thrive.

“Game of Life is very much a pilot. We would like it to become an annual event for all rangatahi in Tairawhiti.”

Following the Game of Life, senior students will have the opportunity to attend The Gisborne Herald Careers Expo, where they will be able to talk to tertiary providers about study programmes. The Careers Expo is on April 12 and 13.

“With the two events only days apart this is great for Gisborne students to make informed decisions based on what they have learned from the employers and tertiary providers,” said The Gisborne Herald advertising manager Jane Smith.

The event is backed by the CARE (Commitment, Action and Reciprocity that results in sustainable Employment) regional forum and Gisborne Chamber of Commerce.

“Helping students to be aware of the vocational opportunities in Tairawhiti and preparing them with work readiness is a key priority,” says CARE co-chair Gavin Murphy.

“We have the highest number of school leavers without qualifications in the country, and our youth unemployment rate is in the range of 20-24 percent.”

Gisborne Chamber of Commerce manager Lena Bevan said they were excited to be a part of it.

“Strengthening partnerships between schools, youth providers and the world of work offers support frameworks for our future talent and is in the best interests of industry partners and the community as a whole,” she said.

Game of Life is a collaborative effort by Gisborne Girls’ High School, Campion College and Turanganui a Kiwa Activity Centre, supported by Trust Tairawhiti and the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce.

THE NEXT GENERATION: From left, Gabby Wong, Lucy Allan, Georgia Barbarich, Isabella Frota, Jovan Potter and Aaliyah Manager helped design and advertise the event, along with students from the Turanganui a Kiwa Activity Centre. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell