I recently attended a launch for Vocational Pathways, a joint initiative between the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Industry Training Federation (ITF), and found it to be a clever way to get kids interested in construction at school.
What on earth are Vocational Pathways, I hear you ask? Well, it is a very simple and clever way of helping our kids at school, who are studying NCEA, understand how the subjects they take relate to potential careers.
It also helps employers see how the studies the students did at school contribute to the job you may be thinking of employing them for.
In essence, it helps students see how school learning and achievement will be valued in the real world when they look for a job and start their career.
When they achieve enough credits from the standards recommended by the sector, they are well on their way to showing potential employers that they have the strength and abilities they will be looking for.
If a student hasn’t decided on a career but is thinking about the future, the Pathways can help them see how their strengths and interests match up to the range of jobs available, and can provide great guidance for them.
I can remember being made to take French at school and, for the life of me, couldn’t see its relevance. I wish Vocational Pathways was around in my day.
So how does it work?
Below is a diagram depicting how it operates.
Five Vocational Pathways have been identified, including one for Construction and Infrastructure. At each level of NCEA, the relevant subjects and achievement standards have been identified that, combined, contribute to the required credits needed for that level.
Of course, some subjects are generic — for example, numeracy and literacy skills — but if your NCEA Level 2 includes these and enough credits from recommended Construction and Infrastructure standards, a student can have Construction and Infrastructure awarded as their Vocational Pathway on their NZQA Record of Achievement. Simple but clever.
Vocational Pathways provides insight and guidance, and is a fantastic way of linking school subjects and careers.
It will not only help us as employers make better sense of NCEA and use it to our advantage, but allows school kids to better understand the relevance and importance of subjects and how they contribute to their future.
The MoE and ITF, and all the others who assisted in this advancement, should be congratulated for their achievement.