Getting Work Smart

What’s involved in designing a new product and getting it on the market?
That’s something Thames High School Year 10 students are about to find out as they take part in Smart Waikato’s Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) programme.
SSEP coordinator Debbie Driver says Thames High is one of five Waikato schools chosen to take part in the pilot programme, and it’ll form a business module as part of the Social Sciences Curriculum.
“Students will learn about being business owners, developing new products, and – hopefully – selling the product at a profit. They’ll use accounting skills, learn about being entrepreneurial, practise time management, develop confidence and social skills through working in a team, as well as communicating and negotiating with adults.”

She says working on the project will enable students to ask themselves some key questions to help determine their career paths. “Do they have what it takes to go into business? Are they motivated and excited about the idea? Do they want to take risks, problem solve, organise, lead a team, handle long hours and stressful times?“
Employers will mentor student groups over the 8 week programme, with class visits, help via email, advice, and visits to their mentor businesses.  Mentors include A&G Price, JR Russell Electrical, Pak’n’Save, Toyota Thames, and Unichem Heather Moore Pharmacy.
The business mentors will have the opportunity to work with teachers to shape curriculum, and to show students how what they learn at school can be applied to the real world.  And that’ll help students choose the right subjects for their career paths.
Other Waikato schools chosen to take part in the pilot programme are Fairfield, Morrinsville and Hauraki Plains colleges, and Hamilton Boys’ High School.