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Careers Advisors gear up to help high flyers

author:Scott Henderson

Tauranga’s ASB Arena will play host to over 550 delegates from every secondary school in New Zealand at the National Careers and Transition Educators (CATE) Conference from 19 – 21 November.

Careers and Transition Educators are often the unsung heroes in the education system, tirelessly working behind the scenes to help our young people decide on a future pathway for themselves before they leave school. This could be anything from high-flying whiz kids courting scholarships and the top universities, adults changing careers, or assisting students from challenging home environments who have abilities but lack confidence in themselves.

“Making career decisions can turn students inside out with worry,” says Jo Neal, President of the Bay of Plenty CATE group. “Even getting started on a trade or entry level certificate is a massive step for some young people where no-one in their family has ever studied past high school. Our job is to equip the students with the right skills to survive in the real world, and in order to do that, we need to continually extend the tools in our ‘Career Kete’. The annual CATE conference allows us to do that.”

This year the theme is connect, collaborate and contribute to a prosperous future for all New Zealanders. The vision is: Eke panukureaching our potential together, which is definitely put into practice in the Bay of Plenty. The local CATE members (who are also the conference organising committee) are made up of representatives from local schools, private training providers, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, University of Waikato and Massey University.

“We have one of the most collaborative CATE groups in the country,” says Jo. “We continually share best practice and work together across the education spectrum and world of work to provide the best possible opportunities for our rangatahi.”

The conference’s theme sponsor, The Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership (Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Waiariki Institute of Technology and the University of Waikato), is a great fit for the CATE conference as it also echoes the same commitments to education.

“The Partnership is a prime example of how the Bay of Plenty region works together,” says Jo. “Their focus is on providing pathways to higher education and increasing educational opportunities for our region.”

The last two years conferences were held at Waitangi and Queenstown and a high standard has been set, but with such a great region to showcase the committee is confident that the Bay can ‘turn it’ and provide delegates with the best conference experience yet. They have been working with Tourism BOP, local activity providers, restaurants, businesses and venues to showcase the best of what the Bay has to offer.

Kaz McLaren from the Social Committee believes that, “with social venues such as Classic Flyers, Tauranga Yacht Club, Mills Reef, and the myriad of activities available, we think we deliver the ‘wow’ factor.”

The conference even has its own currency, called ‘Tertiary Futures’ which are rewards for attending and participating in the workshops and key note sessions. Delegates can save them up and bid on prizes. “We developed the futures as part of the sponsorship from the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Partnership; it shows the collaborative nature of education in our region, provides a bit of fun for the delegates and gives us a point of difference,” says Kaz.

By connecting with the wider community and collaborating with others, we will strengthen and enhance the contribution CATE can make towards the future success of our people and, ultimately, the future of New Zealand. 

November 10th 2014 2012