Let’s expand ‘toolkit’ for school leavers

LETTER

The release of the 2019 Budget last Thursday left me thinking two things — how is this going to benefit our region, and how is it going to uplift our rangatahi/young leaders?

One topic of this Budget that stood out to me, and seems to have been majorly overlooked, is the School Leavers Toolkit.

For the second year the Government is allocating $3.5 million to this toolkit, accessible to students aged 13 to 18. It includes topics such as financial literacy, “civics”, key workplace competencies and personal wellbeing.

Ministry for Education early learning and student achievement deputy secretary Ellen MacGregor-Reid said the programme last year equipped young people with the skills and capabilities required to transition successfully into further study or work.

Having left high school last year, I know what it’s like to leave your safe support network of education that you have had on a daily basis for the past 13 years. It feels as if you are scooped out of a little pond and chucked in the ocean of so many unknowns — starting with things so simple as paperwork, job applications and tax returns.

It’s basically impossible to do this alone as a young person. Big companies and organisations are not always the most supportive or understanding either.

There is an expectation that high school has “prepared you for the real world” when to an extent it hasn’t — not the high business and community standard everyone else is expecting of us.

So the real question is, how do we capture this great tool in our community and take it one step further, so the toolkit is not an option but rather a lesson in Gisborne schools?

We must use this resource to create young people who are socially-knowledgeable about the world outside of education and the real problems we face as a community. It must not be restricted to just age 18 and under, but a support system be put in place for youth until age 24 or even older.

We can harness this toolkit and turn our people into civically-engaged members of our community.

Alice Kibble

The release of the 2019 Budget last Thursday left me thinking two things — how is this going to benefit our region, and how is it going to uplift our rangatahi/young leaders?

One topic of this Budget that stood out to me, and seems to have been majorly overlooked, is the School Leavers Toolkit.

For the second year the Government is allocating $3.5 million to this toolkit, accessible to students aged 13 to 18. It includes topics such as financial literacy, “civics”, key workplace competencies and personal wellbeing.

Ministry for Education early learning and student achievement deputy secretary Ellen MacGregor-Reid said the programme last year equipped young people with the skills and capabilities required to transition successfully into further study or work.

Having left high school last year, I know what it’s like to leave your safe support network of education that you have had on a daily basis for the past 13 years. It feels as if you are scooped out of a little pond and chucked in the ocean of so many unknowns — starting with things so simple as paperwork, job applications and tax returns.

It’s basically impossible to do this alone as a young person. Big companies and organisations are not always the most supportive or understanding either.

There is an expectation that high school has “prepared you for the real world” when to an extent it hasn’t — not the high business and community standard everyone else is expecting of us.

So the real question is, how do we capture this great tool in our community and take it one step further, so the toolkit is not an option but rather a lesson in Gisborne schools?

We must use this resource to create young people who are socially-knowledgeable about the world outside of education and the real problems we face as a community. It must not be restricted to just age 18 and under, but a support system be put in place for youth until age 24 or even older.

We can harness this toolkit and turn our people into civically-engaged members of our community.

Alice Kibble

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Phil Hunt, Picton - 2 months ago
I liked your letter, Alice, but when I left school you just learnt as you went along. I don't recall having any problems when I left school (at 15) and I emigrated to New Zealand on my own when I was 18. Once again I fitted in, with the "Kiwis" pulling my leg a bit, but I soon got all my "corners" knocked off and wasn't green for too long.
I have had a very enjoyable life in New Zealand, and can't imagine I would have done so well if I had stayed back in the UK.

I could suggest you jump in the deep end and go on an OE to see what it is like in other parts of the world. You would be surprised how well you would cope. Some countries would be a culture shock, but don't let that put you off.

G R Webb - 2 months ago
Alice, it might help those who need to be prepared for the real world to actually turn up to school. Current truancy rates in senior schools are at about 20 percent. And when they do front, try switching off the mobile for a few hours.

Alice Kibble - 2 months ago
Kia Ora Phil, I very much enjoyed your insight and agree that you do learn as you are going along. I feel growing up in Gisborne, an overseas experience is a great opportunity to see what is beyond our shores. I have experienced this - Paris, England, America and a few other stop-offs here and there. Although those trips have given me knowledge about myself and my boundaries, I feel they have brought me back to Gisborne. They made me realise that not every young person has been as lucky as myself with these experiences. So we must have a system in place where ALL students, no matter their background, age or ability have the skills (provided in and beyond this toolkit) they need to survive and thrive in our community upon leaving high school.

Phil Hunt - 2 months ago
Thanks for your reply Alice, I can now see where you are coming from! Every student needs the same opportunities, but it's postcode education in NZ I am afraid, just like the health system!

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