Pūhoro STEM Academy has signed a three-year partnership with Genesis Energy supporting Māori students to choose school subjects and career pathways in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Pūhoro assists Māori secondary school students to participate and achieve in STEM subjects to enable them into these careers. Started in 2016, with programmes now operating in 31 schools and to more than 1000 students in 2021, Pūhoro has seen its students achieve NCEA pass rates above national averages in science and mathematics.
The Genesis partnership is targeted at launching Pūhoro in the local communities in which the company operates across the country and will include work experience opportunities and internships.
Pūhoro Director, Naomi Manu, said the support from Genesis would allow the academy to further its work with rangatahi Māori to shape STEM-related career opportunities.
“Last year the Tertiary Education Commission released its Drawing the Future report. The report gave mana to the Pūhoro approach and specifically, shaping STEM career aspirations from an early age,” she said.
“This partnership will enable rangatahi and whānau access and exposure to Genesis resources and the breadth of career opportunities within the energy sector. This will help rangatahi Māori, and their whānau, develop a line of sight into STEM careers, and access to an organisation and a network who want to see those aspirations realised.”
Genesis’ Chief Operations Officer Nigel Clarke said supporting Pūhoro fits well with the work the company is doing in the local communities of its generation sites to create education, training and pathways to prepare young people for the future of work.
“Careers revolving around STEM continue to rise across the world. That is only going to increase as advances in technology continue to change the way we live and work. We see that first-hand in our own industry and want to help develop New Zealand’s pipeline of future talent,” he said.
“We also welcome being able to provide practical help and insights on possible career opportunities by students visiting our local sites and meeting some of our teams who have STEM related careers.”
Pūhoro works alongside students and whānau in a kaupapa Māori approach based on long-term relationships and strengthening rangatahi in the programme as Māori. The programme includes weekly mentoring sessions delivered to small cohorts of students throughout the year as well as work placements and on-campus wānanga in the term holidays.
The first programmes to be launched with the support of Genesis will be in the Tongariro and Wairoa regions this year.