Secondary School Employer Partnerships

Footer Winner of Economic Development Oct18 LR2

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Smart Waikato wins New Zealand economic excellence award

Smart Waikato has come up trumps at Economic Development New Zealand’s 2018 Excellence Awards.  The trust’s Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP), a region-wide collaboration involving 22 secondary schools, 2300 students, 110 teachers and 140 employers took out the Best Practice in Collaboration (business, iwi, community) category at the EDNZ Annual Conference Gala Dinner.

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Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEPs) connect young people, educators and employers, generating transformative results for communities.

Employers from a range of sectors interconnect with school faculties contextualising learning for Year 9 and 10 and introducing them to a wide range of careers.

SSEP was piloted in the Waikato region of New Zealand in 2016, with results showing significant positive impact on students, teachers and employer partners. 

Information and outcomes:

SSEP Logo Square RGB HR

SSEP Goals:

  • improve student achievement, retention and transition in schools
  • answer the question: Why am I learning this subject?
  • ensure students make solid school subject choices to successfully transition into further education and employment
  • introduce students to key industries within region
  • increase attraction to careers in critical industries within region
  • encourage young people to stay within region

Impact on students:

SSEP Graph Experience of Business People Jun20

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How it works:

  • After consulting with schools, SSEP carefully selects between six and 15 suitable businesses to partner with SSEP schools (focusing on ICT, construction and infrastructure, primary industries, health, business and engineering sectors)
  • SSEP facilitates initial connections, supports teacher-employer relationships, provides resources and evaluation
  • Employer partners work with teachers to identify and develop connections between classroom learning and industry
  • Employers deliver applied workplace examples in the classroom, aligned with curriculum
  • Students visit the workplace to see real-world application of their learning

Why Years 9 and 10?

SSEP is most effective at junior secondary school level as it prepares students for wise and informed subject choices prior to their senior years and provides a pathway platform. The flexibility of the junior timetable simplifies SSEP implementation.

  • Robust SSEP structure, support and resources
  • More engaged students
  • Professional development
  • Business connections
  • Informing and encouraging young people
  • Profiling their business and industry
  • Professional development of staff
  • Social responsibility