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Mentor plan to keep young people
Marlborough Midweek, Blenheim, NZ  by Paula Hulburt
07 Dec 2017
General News - Page 6 - 417 words - ID 883901786 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 409.00cm2

They are young and occasionally restless, often thinking their best hope for a job is to leave town.

But a career mentoring scheme is about to be launched as part of a bid to help keep young adults in Marlborough.

The brainchild of the Graeme Dingle Foundation, the initiative will pair students with mentors from across a range of industries.

Organisers hope the drive will encourage young people to see the "potential" of staying in the region.

Programme co-ordinator Lisa Preece says many businesses in Marlborough are "crying out" for staff.

"I visit businesses all the time and they are keen to attract good staff but if young people don't have the connections to certain industries, or understand the current career pathways available, there is a real blind spot, a disconnect.

"Really it's about building those connections and opening people's eyes to the potential that is already here.

"If your parents and people around you aren't involved in a certain industry, your chances of knowing what career opportunities exist, are fairly slim.

"The mentor relationship will help to overcome those barriers," she says.

The career mentoring programme has been successfully run by the Graeme Dingle Foundation across the country since 2012.

Preece is bringing together a team of mentors involved in key industries, from marine farming to construction to health and professional services.

Many businesses have indicated an interest in the programme which is aimed at year 12 and 13 students.

Robinson Construction is one such firm. Operations manager Mark Watson says the time to act is now.

"There is a huge benefit to this in that students can try any field and we give them a bit of a road map about where the opportunities are.

"If we want our community to flourish into the future we need to do something to grow our young people, we need to take action and engage them. We can't just sit back and let things happen," he says.

The programme will be available through Marlborough Boys' and Girls' Colleges in 2018.

For further information about Career Navigator, contact lisa.preece@dinglefoundation.org.nz.

"I visit businesses all the time and they are keen to attract good staff but if young people don't have the connections to certain industries, or understand the current career pathways available, there is a real blind spot, a disconnect."

Lisa Preece, programme co-ordinator

Caption Text:
Joining forces as part of a new mentoring initiative are, from left, Lisa Preece, Mark Watson and former apprentice, now foreman, Ray Partridge. PAULA HULBURT/STUFF

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