We recently employed a 14-year-old school student, who is new to the workforce.

He's enthusiastic, being paid and he's helping our organisation out for an hour a day after school, and a few hours at the weekends - if that suits him.

The task we have for him is project oriented, but I am interested in making a connection with him and what he's been learning at school, exploring further his skills he can possibly apply to our computers and technology.

In reality, we don't get many young people under the age of 19 applying for jobs with us but since we have had some engagement with programmes such as Gateway, we're now looking at ways we can help young people enter the workforce and - even more importantly - connect with businesses.


As an accounting firm, we have access to growing organisations that may have opportunities to offer the youth, such as internships, work experience or scholarships.

At the end of his time with us he will have a reference for his CV and some experience of working in an office with professional people.

In my view, social skills and experience are what business owners look for - we can help him develop those.

And although the job we have for him isn't going to be long-term, I'm pretty sure he has grander plans of moving on to further his training and career.

Deciding on an appropriate wage for him involved some research because there is no set rule for people aged under 16.

The Department of Labour has some guidelines, indicating a common starting point is $9 an hour.

It wasn't hard to come up with something that he and his mum felt was fair for the work he was doing for us, which was formalised in an employment agreement.

I hear he has made a plan on how to spend his money. It seems the satisfaction of being able to start buying his own things is clear. This will also help develop confidence as he completes his role for us.

More businesses should look for ways they can engage young people in the community - the benefits really do flow both ways.

Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants.