Horowhenua work-ready from the Get-Go
Published: Dec 11, 2020
An innovative career pathway programme in the Horowhenua district is taking students on employment experience adventures with inspiring local businesses.
Students were guided through three hands-on experiences at each business to show them how their learning can be applied across different industries and roles, something that Waiopehu College student Stevie Sayer-White said opened her eyes.
"The day gave me such a wide view about what employment is available in Horowhenua, things I had never thought I could do here. The day was exciting and made me really think about how my school work is relevant to my future."
Every Year 10 student in the district had the opportunity to visit local employers Genoese Foods, Woodhaven Gardens, Techlam, Lewis Farms, Turks, and Speldhurst Country Estate as part of the Get-Go initiative managed by the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust.
Trustee Sarah Ryan says that the event was created to give students the chance to apply their classroom learning in a real world environment.
"It’s often hard for young people to see how what they’ve learnt at school can be applied to jobs like operating GPS self-steering tractors, social media management, or logistics," says Sarah.
"By getting to visit these employers and see some of the diversity of the roles that are out there - we want to inspire young people to get excited about their future careers."
Managing Director of Lewis Farms, Cam Lewis, says that it’s common for Horowhenua businesses to feel like they can’t find the people they need for specialist roles.
"Sometimes there can be a perception that certain industries only require a certain set of skills – but we all need so much more than that. For us, we employ people with skills that range from agronomists, to robotics specialists and engineers," says Cam.
"We believe that if we can show this to people before they leave school, then they will know that there are opportunities for them to stay and grow in Horowhenua."
Get-Go is supported by an $806,277 Te Ara Mahi investment managed by the Provincial Development Unit (PDU). Funding supports work-readiness and employment placement programmes aimed at facilitating informed career choices.