The students are going through the final stages of gaining their Work Ready Passports – a programme that helps prepare for life in the work force.

(Left) Student Eden Henare is interviewed by Marianne Archibald from the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce and Bruce Morgan from Skills NZ. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO

Jason Shailer from 100% Sweet said the programme was a pilot scheme that would next year be rolled out to most of Whanganui’s 600 school leavers.

Mr Shailer has been working with the students for several months, focusing on “soft” skills, or personal skills, including personal wellness, life skills, communication, academic achievements, managing your money, being drug free, work experience, ability to work as part of a team, understanding health and safety at work, and licences.

“The idea for the Work Ready Passport came from Kapiti,” Mr Shailer said.

“The businesses there realised that students were failing because they were lacking in these soft skills. They didn’t understand about managing their money, or how to set goals; or maybe they lost their first job because they didn’t get out of bed in time because they were hungover.

“It provides some reassurance for employers that the kids have been deemed to be work ready by their peers in the business community.”

The six students were selected for the programme by their schools.

They will graduate with their Work Ready Passport when they gain their restricted driver’s licence, pass a drug test and go through an interview.

The interviews were held last week by Marianne Archibald from the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce and Bruce Morgan from Skills NZ.

Mr Shailer said for many of the students, it was a question of helping them be more confident.

“A lot of them have really valuable skills but they just don’t realise it.

Mr Shailer said the Work Ready Passport had obvious advantages for the student, for the
employer – but also for the community as a whole.

“The ultimate goal is to make our community better,” he said.

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