Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Go with Tourism launches secondary school education programme

Starting this week, Go with Tourism – a government-funded initiative developed to support and build New Zealand’s tourism workforce – will bring specially curated lessons to secondary school classrooms across the country to better inform students about the multiple career pathways available in tourism.

The Education Programme was developed in response to the stigma that surrounds tourism jobs and the knowledge that these perceptions begin to develop in our teenage years.


In 2018, a ‘Tourism Youth Perceptions’ report commissioned by Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development revealed that New Zealand youth hold the belief that tourism offers meaningful work, but the career pathway was not endorsed or supported by the people youth go to for advice – namely parents and careers advisors.

Go with Tourism programme director, Matt Stenton, says that the Education Programme is a necessary move to ensure we are attracting and promoting our young people into the tourism industry.

“There are many misconceptions about careers in tourism and studying tourism too. Prior to COVID-19 – which is a once-in-a-lifetime-event – it was our largest export industry, needing up to 40,000 new workers by 2025 to keep up with demand, so it’s a shame that its value is not recognised in schools, such as being a university entrance subject.

“We know that teachers are incredibly passionate about guiding their students towards their future careers, and with tourism being so important to New Zealand we want to provide them with fantastic resources and support.

“By changing perceptions now and encouraging our youth to think about tourism as a career, we hope to fill jobs and opportunities that will increasingly become available over the next decade.”

Four Go with Tourism Regional Coordinators will travel to schools across Aotearoa to conduct interactive classroom sessions, consisting of debates, group challenges and VR-based learning, which will showcase the endless opportunities across all nine sectors of the tourism industry through real-life success stories and emphasising its significance in growing the economy.

The launch of the Education Programme also follows a recent announcement to Private Training Establishments that the Tertiary Education Commission plans to cut tourism education funding in 2021 by 40 per cent.

This announcement, in combination with recently displaced workers, continued stigma, and thousands of migrant workers leaving the country, has many in the industry worried about New Zealand experiencing a larger skills shortage than before, says Matt.

“This could greatly reduce the pool of trained candidates for our industry, reduce student’s ability to receive a higher level of education, and inadvertently limit access for those students who wish to study.”

Go with Tourism recognises education as a valuable tool in building New Zealand’s tourism workforce. In addition to the Education Programme, Go with Tourism will host their own expo in conjunction with the New Zealand Careers Expo, featuring both tourism operators and educators.

These events will take place across August and September, in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

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