UP Education has launched two new initiatives to ensure its graduates are frontrunners for employment.
The first, a new Employment Incubation Programme, will see students across the Group’s three vocational colleges (NZMA, Yoobee School of Design and NZCC) undergo intensive pre-employment training to ensure they are ‘work ready’. Based on the principles of a business incubator, the programme takes students through the entire employment process, in a realistic workplace environment, with the full support of the company’s academic, employment and careers teams.
The second, a new Post Placement Support Programme, will see graduates and their employers receive ongoing support for six months to ensure a smooth transition to full-time permanent employment.
The unique concepts mean that upon graduation, students will be ready to hit the ground running and then supported to build successful careers.
“We have redesigned and reinvigorated our employment support to better prepare our students for the realities of the workplace and to help them transition into sustainable employment,” said Divisional General Manager, Mark Worsop.
“In a business incubator, new and start-up companies have the support to maximize their potential for success in a relatively safe environment, often with the support of mentors and advisors. We have decided to use this concept to develop an Employment Incubation Programme which will support our students to reach their full career potential.”
Students will have to formally apply for advertised roles, undergo interviews, abide by an employment contract and carry out the duties of their employment throughout the incubation period. They will receive support in the development of their CV’s, cover letters and training in preparation for their interviews. Then, during the incubation programme, they will receive regular support and performance feedback based on individually-set KPI’s. At the end of the incubation period high-performing students will earn a certificate with a gold, silver or bronze endorsement, plus a letter of recommendation from their campus.
The new module will be added into every programme at Level 4 and above at NZMA, at Level 5 and above at NZCC, and at Level 6 and above at Yoobee.
“The focus is on ensuring students understand that there are positive and negative consequences for performance, effort and engagement, and giving them an opportunity to experience what it will be like to interview and work in the real world.”
Under the unique Post Placement Support Programme, regular visits will be made to each graduates’ workplace for at least six months after graduating.
“While we have actually been doing this for some time, it is time to formalize the structure and set some clear expectations on what employers and graduates can expect from us in terms of ongoing support. During the visits, our team will meet with the employer to discuss performance, additional training needs, alignment of graduate skills to employer needs, and any issues or potential barriers to long term employment.”
This kind of unique graduate support and after-care will further cement the UP Education as one of New Zealand’s foremost vocational training providers.
“Not only do we believe that this new approach to training and support will improve employment success and sustainability, but it also provides an invaluable source of information for ongoing self-assessment related to graduate success and programme development.
“The engagement with employers to support our graduates will show a real commitment to them and our students and build a reputation for UP Education as a preferred destination for graduate recruitment and success.”