Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre recently took part in the Work Inspiration programme, giving local high school students a behind-the-scenes look at roles in a range of areas, including front office, accounts, housekeeping, kitchen/culinary, marketing and events. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions of supervisors from each of these areas.
Avishay, a Year 12 student from One Tree Hill College, found that the hotel business had far more to it than just food service and accommodation.
"When I first walked into the hotel I thought that the job opportunities were limited, but after the three days I saw there were far more than I imagined."
Knowing all the opportunities that exist in particular industries and talking to staff about how they got into their job helped students see how their subject choices could lead them down a particular career path.
Staff at Waipuna Hotel also benefited from the Work Inspiration programme.
Restaurant manager Arlaina was a buddy during the programme and relished the opportunity to give back to the local students.
"As a staff member participating in the Work Inspiration programme, it is great for changing up the daily routines, along with reminding you about the value of your skill set and the finer details of your role within the business."
Codie, Waipuna Hotel’s intern manager, said "It has given me a lot of insight around understanding what motivates and inspires this generation of future employees."
Corporate manager of MITO, Phil Urlich, and future people development team leader at Toyota New Zealand, Jane Stella, agree that the Work Inspiration programme has numerous benefits for both students and employers, and they encourage employers to get involved.
"Work Inspiration provides employers with an opportunity to share with students the different roles and career pathways available in their company or industry. Students can gain an insight into the different roles in the company, as well as the formal qualifications which can be achieved while in employment," says Phil.
While Work Inspiration opens students' eyes to the career opportunities ahead of them, there are also numerous benefits for employers. These include:
Jane Stella has the following advice for employers thinking of getting involved in the Work Inspiration programme:
"Requesting that the students themselves formally apply to take part is beneficial too, as you find out more about their motivation to be on the programme and what their level of interest is in specific roles and departments, the business and the industry," she says.
View the evaluations from the three employers that piloted Work Inspiration.