Industry training organisations (ITOs) are helping to enhance career possibilities and raise the profile of vocational learning by establishing sector training pathways from secondary to tertiary education. The programmes give young people a chance to sample particular industries before choosing where to start a career or apprenticeship. They also demonstrate the value and importance of learning that is not specifically geared to academic pathways.
The future workforce of New Zealand is in our schools. Our young people currently perform at the highest levels on a range of educational indicators tested by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). Thirty percent of school leavers go on to study at university but another 20 percent of students underachieve and struggle to make sustainable transitions into further education or employment. However, all students will at some point look for work following school regardless of their abilities.
To bridge the gap between schooling, specific industry qualifications, and employment, ITOs are forming clusters of related industries to establish and publicise vocational education training (VET) pathways. Together the ITOs are working to develop packages of readily understandable and easy to use sectoral qualifications for school students. These contain a basic grounding in skills and knowledge relevant to a range of industries, and will provide visible and credible vocational options for students.
ITOs are working at ground level in schools on vocationally oriented career pathways in a variety of ways. Ultimately these innovative programmes will help students develop readily applicable skills for the working world of today and the future.
All case studies are published in Skilling New Zealand: ITO Leadership in Action
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