• Game of Life

    game of life

Trust Tairāwhiti was one of the key players in the successful launch of a new careers event connecting local employers with students.

After much planning the inaugural Game of Life went off without a hitch on April 8 with students buzzing about the work and career possibilities here in Tairāwhiti.

Gisborne Girls" High School student Ebony Hodgetts started the ball rolling when she spoke out about students wanting to learn more about local industries and what they did. This started a conversation about creating a careers event for students, by students.

GGHS, Campion College and Turanganui a Kiwi Activity Centre (TAK) worked together and pooled funding from Ministry of Education to get the event off the ground. "They enlisted the help of Trust Tairāwhiti which co-funded the event as part of its Workforce Development Programme. Licence to Work"s Karen Fenn from the Trust worked closely with GGHS head of careers, Jo Graham and Game of Life coordinator, Anna Frota to make it happen.

Mrs Fenn said the event had been a great success.

"We are already seeing positive impacts as a result with relationships developing between high schools and employers working together to get students into work experience."

Trust Tairāwhiti head of commercial Richard Searle said it was fantastic to see industry and high schools working together to come up with innovative solutions to recruitment issues.

"Our Licence to Work programme was already working with around 180 high school students matching them with employers and helping to get them work ready. Game of Life has taken that to a whole new level " showing our young people what is available in various industry sectors throughout Tairāwhiti," he said.

The event involved around 1400 students from the region's high schools and around 70 employers, from infrastructure to the creative industries. Designed to change students" perception that most opportunities were outside of the region, it allowed local employers to showcase the unique opportunities within their industries.

In-mould label specialists Logans Print was represented at Game of Life. Owner Boyd Wilton said his company would have 30 jobs coming up in the next two years. He was looking for keen, reliable school leavers and would provide on-the-job training in a rapidly growing business.

"It could be the perfect opportunity for students who didn"t necessarily know what to do when they left school, but were wanting to enter the work force and start learning new skills and earning money."

There would also be ongoing opportunities for promotion and career development, he said.

Owner and founder of new film and television studio Rangai, Shannon Dowsing attended the event and was thrilled with the level of interest.

"We had 65 expressions of interest from students which is very encouraging," he said.

Before the day, students were allocated a colour after completing a career quiz and job research to give them some direction. Their starting point was matching their colours with the colour-coded sectors and industries.

Neighborhood Pizzeria owner Marcel Campbell took an innovative approach to attracting new staff. He gave away pizza boxes with a promise that if students brought in their CVs, he would give them a pizza on the house and take down their details in case a job came up."