The goals of the Pathway Advisors are to:
- increase levels of youth employment and decrease the numbers of youth not in education, employment, or training;
- strengthen connections between local employers, schools, tertiary institutions, and students to achieve greater engagement in education and employment, with the aim of supporting sustainable careers for youth and regional economic prosperity.
10.4 percent of 15–24-year-olds on the West Coast are currently ‘not in education, employment, or training’ (NEET), according to data from Infometrics.
Development West Coast (DWC) Vocational Coordinator Latham Martin said those in the ‘Education to Employment’ sector identified a gap in the provision of pathways advice and guidance within secondary schools and beyond.
As a response, DWC successfully applied for external funding from Lotteries Funding for Change and the Todd Foundation to cover the costs of staffing for Pathway Advisors for a period of 12 months to help address the identified gaps.
Working with West Coast secondary schools, BullerREAP and WestREAP, six Pathway Advisors have been engaged across the region: Shoshy Perchig-Gibli (Greymouth High School), Jane Brownie (Westland High School), Lisa Morris (Reefton Area School), Michelle Maiava (Karamea High School), Jenny Keogan (Westland and Grey District NEETs, South Westland Area School, John Paul II High School) and Mary-Rose O'Loughlin (Buller District NEETs).
Yvonne Simpson has also been appointed as Project Coordinator, to mentor and monitor the Pathway Advisors in providing all West Coast school leavers with a transition plan and appropriate support.
Latham Martin said the Pathway Advisors will strength the support available to students and NEETs on the Coast.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support from Lotteries and the Todd Foundation, which has allowed us to put in place a great team of Pathway Advisors across the Coast."
“Pathways Advisors will help connect students with already existing services to ensure the best support available for each and every student on the West Coast.”