Young job seekers willing and able

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Former WHS student Kaitlin Firmin had experience in driving farm machinery for stock feeding on the Gateway programme.
Former WHS student Kaitlin Firmin had experience in driving farm machinery for stock feeding on the Gateway programme.

Whanganui High School employment coordinator Peter Reid has some enthusiastic students looking for work and he would like hear from employers who might need them.

Mr Reid says he has devoted his lengthy teaching career to assisting young adults into employment.

As an economist and teacher of business subjects, he has always been involved in career development within the local business economies as well as overseas.

"My wife and I returned to Whanganui after teaching in South East Asia in 2004," he says.
"After looking at many options in different parts of the world, we decided to spend the final chapter of our teaching careers paying something back to the development of our beloved Whanganui."

When the employment coordinator position became available at Whanganui High School six years ago, Mr Reid said he "grabbed it with both hands."

In six years he has doubled the number of students participating in the Tertiary Education Commission funded Gateway Programme at the school.

For the past four years, Mr Reid has represented WHS on the 100% SWEET steering committee.

The 100% SWEET (Students in Wanganui, in Education, Employment and Training) initiative came about as the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs project and former mayor Annette Main launched Whanganui's own taskforce in 2014.

The aim of the project has been to bring local business, government agencies and educators together to help young people become happy, prosperous members of the local community.

Mr Reid has facilitated opportunities for students on the Gateway Programme to gain hands-on experience in farming and horticulture, building and carpentry, auto repairs, pre-school teaching and office administration.

Mr Reid said he had an "impoverished childhood" childhood growing up in Aramoho and is grateful that this "small city" gave him the opportunity to gain an education that has enabled him to work in many places around the world.

Now, he says, he would like to see his students gain opportunities to work in and around Whanganui and contribute to the local economy.

He can be contacted on 021 0832 2764 or by email at reid.p@whs.ac.nz

- Wanganui Chronicle

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