Business

Powering up the voices of youth

Powering up the voices of youth

Under Z’s Community Stand, we are committed to dramatically lifting the potential of young people by building their capability, confidence and career choices. One of the ways we are going to do this is by facilitating opportunities for education and the development of life skills so young people are better able to make powerful choices. 

Over the past few months, we’ve been working with edutech company Minded, with a goal of helping young people to understand themselves, plan their future, and get job ready. The Minded psychometric profiling tool provides an understanding of an individual’s strengths, and provides a pathway to identify the career options that may suit a learner best.  These conversations are being held with 12-13-year olds; rather than, say, university leavers, which means learners are empowered to make these decisions much earlier in life. We partnered with Minded on a pilot with learners at Mana College (a decile 1 school in Porirua). The result was a group of learners having goals, objectives, and an understanding of the pathways open to them, that they wouldn’t otherwise have had. As a result, we’ve now supported four other low-decile schools this year who couldn’t otherwise afford this tool in order to exponentially affect this opportunity more widely across the country. I can’t speak highly enough of the experience we’ve had working with Minded. Not only are they enabling school-aged young people to have meaningful conversations earlier about where they can build on their strengths and passions, but they’re also enabling conversations with some kids who’ve never had someone simply sit down with them and say, “Who are you and what are your goals?” And that can be life-changing.

We’re also in the process of figuring out where to from there, once young people have identified their profile and passions, and set goals with the Minded tool. We’re in the early days of developing a prototype solution where young people might need to be and feel heard – whether that’s in finding a career that suits them, getting them out of a difficult emotional situation, or helping them find their tribe. We’re going to be socialising this prototype with more than a thousand keen young people at the Festival for the Future conference next weekend. We’ll keep you posted!  

Gerri Ward, Sustainability Manager