Kiwi company ontracknz.co.nz is changing the way employers recruit entry level staff – with a new way of fitting the right people to the right jobs.
In the past, the employment industry has tended to have jobs available for people; this new approach has people available for jobs.
Employers can now log on to the ontracknz website and get direct access to young people investigating work possibilities in the manufacturing, construction, transport and logistics, warehousing and primary industries.
They are also helping young people find a career pathway and connect them to training providers interested in seeing them succeed. These engaged young people, with the right training mix, are then promoted to industry on the ontracknz website.
Businesses interested in developing talent get free access to the profiles, where they can select individuals with the best fit and provide work experience or employment opportunities.
“It’s about connecting people,” says Jacqui Neilson, General Manager and Project Lead for ontracknz. “It is about making those initial introductions between the two parties and then seeing where things go from there.”
Young people post a profile including their work experience and interests; approved employers can go online and check out those details before offering work experience or entry level jobs.
ontracknz is a new initiative trialled throughout 2019 in Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua before being launched late last year. They are looking at expanding further, starting with Auckland and Christchurch, because of the demand from young job seekers and companies needing staff.
“There is a labour shortage in areas like freight forwarding, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, which are often industries that career advisors in schools have limited access to,” Neilson says. “ontracknz has been working with these industries on entry level opportunities and ways to connect young people to these.
“At present, many rely on parents’ contacts to get them work experience or a job,” says Neilson, “but it’s hard for parents to get kids into jobs if they don’t have the networks or friends they can call upon.
“Research shows that young people currently aged between 10 and 24 will have six careers and around 18 different jobs in their lifetime,” says Neilson. “It can take a while to work out what it is you are suited to, and what you enjoy.
“The point is you need to start somewhere and understand the opportunities, even if you change careers at a later date. Many young people are unaware of the numerous career pathways within these industries.”
Previous generations accepted the “start at the bottom and work your way up” ethos – but today there is often an expectation the first job out of school should be further up the ladder.
“At ontracknz we want to show a starting point and help them pick up transferable skills along the way. Who knows what it could lead to?”
Neilson cites the case of one woman who started out as a forklift driver and is now a senior manager for the same firm. Most of us often underestimate how many skills learnt in one industry can be transferable to others.
Due to their connections within industry, ontracknz is in a good position to understand where the need for labour is and skills required now and in the future. That helps inform job seekers about the most relevant opportunities and training that will get them work-ready.
As the new connector between youth, training and industry, ontracknz is on a mission to grow and develop New Zealand’s future workforce.
For more information: www.ontracknz.co.nz