Eastern Bay students excited for future careers

Students completing surveys at the 2021 careers expo. Supplied images.

Eastern Bay senior school students are focussed on their futures according to a new survey by Toi Economic Development Agency. 

Toi EDA workforce manager to Barbara MacLennan says “It’s fantastic that our secondary schools are increasingly helping students connect with industries, jobs and careers right here on our doorsteps”. 

Over 10 per cent of the region’s 15 to 19-year-old students responded to the 2021 youth survey, which was launched at the recent EBOP Careers Expo. 

The survey was available to complete online for a full month after the expo as well.  

Nearly 90 per cent of respondents say they are somewhat, confident or very confident in achieving their study and work goals after finishing school, and 45 per cent of them say they already have paid work. 

“One of the things we wanted to explore was how career and job aspirations related to our region’s industries, says Barbara.  

“We surveyed students about this back in 2017, and were pleased to see a much closer alignment this time between student aspirations and careers and jobs available in our region.” 

Whakatane High School students who won a Prezzy Card for completing the survey. 

One important exception is manufacturing is the region’s second largest employing industry, but was only thirteenth in student interest rankings, says Barbara.  

“There are so many and diverse jobs involved in this sector. We need to help our schools understand the breadth of jobs available in industries like this, and the pathways students can take. 

"Globally there’s a growing battle for talent, and we have so much of that right here.” 

Thanks to the review of vocational education, there should soon be much more tertiary level training available in Eastern Bay, pertinent to our industries, says Barbara.  

“If our local businesses can engage with students at school and attract them into future work opportunities that will be a win all round.” 

The survey also asked students for their ideas to help improve youth employment opportunities and many respondents shared very practical options. 

One student says, “Give people ideas of what occupation opportunities there are. 

"A lot of people my age have no idea what they are interested in because they have not been introduced to many different opportunities.” 

The also suggesting having guest speakers come to rural schools more often. 

Barbara says Toi EDA will be working with schools, tertiary providers and industries to follow up on the key themes coming out of the survey. 

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