Young Enterprise: Te Pae Tawhiti

Young Enterprise Scheme have introduced a pilot careers summit educating high school students on the variety of non-traditional career pathways available.

The first session was held at Napier Conferences and Events on Friday 30th July, supported by Ian Musson, head of YES Māori Engagement and Terry Shubkin, Chief Executive, as well as a range of Regional Coordinators and volunteers from across the organisation.

The programme has been developed alongside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to inspire creative pathways to careers in digital technologies, animation, robotics, engineering, or architectural sectors for rangatahi.

The Hawke’s Bay session opened with 5 speakers sharing their unconventional journey and how they would have benefitted from seeing people achieving success when they were young. Speakers included: M.A.T.C.H. Māoriland graduates, Maaka Gaia-Houia and Turanga Mahutonga; tech start-up VAKA founder, Jesse Armstrong; Tono app and game developer Wiremu Wallace; and co-founder of Ara Journeys, Amber Taylor.

Role models featured as a recurring theme for each speaker, in particular Amber spoke about how she had never thought about a career in tech when she was young because she simply didn’t see people like her working in those spaces. As a young, wahine Māori she didn’t feel that she belonged. It was only when she became curious about animation, game design and augmented reality that she decided to carve out her own path and “make [her] own rules”, defining the space for herself.

Maaka, Graduate of M.A.T.C.H. Intensifier Tahi, shared that he was at a loss when he left school, he didn’t feel like he fit into a traditional mould and as a result sought out an alternative solution. Maaka “saw the MATCH programme as an opportunity”, an opportunity to create his own success in areas that interested him – photography and audio.

Students then moved into break out groups to have discussions in small groups with each of the speakers as well as a handful of local tech professionals from EIT Hawke’s Bay. Students had the opportunity to learn and be inspired by these role models, to figure out what lights their fire and excites them about their respective industries.

YES are taking Te Pae Tawhiti on the road, bringing the session to five regions around the country including Gisborne, Christchurch, Hamilton and Whanganui. Check out the Young Enterprise website for more information.

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