Do you remember when you were in school making career
This is the question the Workchoice Trust has been asking
companies when inviting them
to participate in Workchoice Day on Tuesday 17
It's true that sometimes adults do know what's best, but for me
at fifteen, getting the opportunity to work it out for myself was
The Trust wants
companies to realise that students today are faced with the same
dilemmas as they were and, more than ever, need the opportunity to
go out and talk to as many people as possible to gain a real
understanding of the roles available and what they entail.
May 17th this year will be the
17th annual Workchoice Day and 6000 Year 12 students will have
the opportunity to spend the day at two organisations in an
industry in which they have an interest.
Workchoice Day is the ideal vehicle for students across the
country, not only to fully investigate the huge spectrum of careers
available to them but to gain the knowledge that will enable them
to profile themselves as "choice" future employees.
The Workchoice Trust was established in 1994 by Roger Lampen as
a not- for-profit organisation to bridge the gap between education
and business. Over 132,000 students have now benefited from
Kids, companies and the country
The Workchoice Trust Chairperson, Jane Kennelly (Director of
Frog Recruitment) comments,
Over the course of one day, thousands of kids in New Zealand are
able to step outside the classroom, look at what is on offer for
them in this country of ours - where we want them to be educated
and to stay - and become clearer about where they're headed.
It's something that benefits individual students, but long term
it's for the betterment of the whole country.
Jane practices what she preaches - this will be her 17th
Workchoice Day and she invites you to view
Frog's past experience.
What's in it for host companies, what happens on the Day?
Every year companies comment that not only is Workchoice Day
good for staff morale, but the students also bring an injection of
energy. It prompts people in the business to think about what
they're doing, how they're doing it and what messages they're
giving young people.Young people have some very good questions
which allow staff to share their passion for the job.
Business needs to stimulate and put back into the community.
Various staff members at the organisations talk to the students
- what their jobs involve
- how they got there
- their education and background
- anything they might have done differently
Airways New Zealand's Workchoice Day experience
"Airways New Zealand is one of the worlds' leading providers
of commercial Air Navigation Services, responsible for managing all
domestic and international air traffic operating within New
Zealand's 30 million square kilometres of airspace.
Workchoice gives us an excellent opportunity for in-depth
exposure to what we have to offer because all schools in Canterbury
hear about the Day. We want to create interest in recruiting air
traffic controllers and Workchoice Day is a great way to correct
wrong perceptions about our industry. Who knows, students may apply
or talk to their friends.
Highlight of the day was the quality of the students that
came along, in fact they exceeded our expectation and we had
teachers accompany students which takes knowledge from the day back
into classroom learning. We have since invited teachers here
for a wine and cheese evening- outside of Workchoice Day.
Workchoice is better than employment expo days, we are steering
away from this due to the competitive environment within industry.
Workchoice is great as we get time with interested students
one-on-one in our work environment.
If you're a business trying to change the perception of what
you have to offer, participating in Workchoice Day is not only a
great opportunity, but it really works."
76 companies needed
In spite of these benefits, The Workchoice Trust is finding 2011
to be another tough year with only 124 of the 200 companies needed
registered. Shortages are across the board but stand out in the
areas of business, engineering, trades, hospitality and health.
A teenager's perspective
Students might find their dream job - or they might find that
their dream job isn't, in fact, the job for them! What's important
is that students are exposed to a wide range of careers and they
can use that information as a basis for making an informed
The last word goes to Natalie Bell, a graduate who explains how
valuable Workchoice Day was for her:
I was never one of those kids who knew exactly what they
wanted to be when they grew up and in Sixth Form (Year 12) I had to
start making some big decisions about my career path. I saw a
Careers Advisor at school and did some aptitude tests that showed
that I would probably do well in a job that involved communications
of some sort - being a teacher or a minister were the two things
near the top of the list that I remember. I didn't want to be
either! In fact, when faced with those options, I thought I'd
quite like to be a beauty therapist.
Almost everybody thought that this wasn't the right choice
for me but I had no way of knowing. Then I got the opportunity to
go out on Workchoice Day! I chose to go out on a visit that focused
on careers in beauty as I figured this would be my one chance to
find out what such a career really involved.
Along with my group, I went to a hair-dressing academy in the
morning and the L'Oreal factory in the afternoon. I had a lot of
fun attempting to do a hair do on a wig and realised that there was
a lot more to hair-dressing than I'd ever thought. Similarly, I had
no idea about all of the different business and administration jobs
that were behind the beauty industry.
Most importantly, though, I realised that everyone else was
right. Beauty therapy was probably not for me.
Having the chance to find out this out before enrolling in
an expensive course was invaluable. Workchoice Day also helped me
decide that going to university was the right decision and I ended
up graduating with a Master of Arts (Hons) in Art History and
Since then, I've had a stimulating and varied career that
has involved, ironically, both teaching and communications. As well
as tutoring and lecturing at the University of Auckland, I spent
several years doing communications and administration for the
Workchoice Trust and more recently, I ended up doing an internship
at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
Now I'm doing my PhD in Art History, something my
fifteen-year-old self would never have imagined - though maybe my
teachers did. It's true that sometimes adults do know what's best,
but for me at fifteen, getting the opportunity to work it out for
myself was priceless."
Want to know more?
For further information about this programme and how to get
involved visit www.workchoice.co.nz
or contact Kathy McCombe or Julia Clark on 0800 931 080 or