A new partnership, established between 10 Dunedin secondary
schools, Otago Polytechnic and a Dunedin professional
development firm, aims to help Dunedin school-leavers bridge
the gap between school and the next step in life.
The Bridging the Gap programme has received $26,250 from the
Otago Community Trust in the April round of donations, which
will allow the Dunedin secondary schools to put 30 pupils
each per year through a two-day course aimed at equipping
youth with the skills and information they need to make fully
informed decisions about their future.
Programme co-ordinator Michael Simmons said it would help
pupils reflect on the path they wanted to create for their
future, and set them on ''a positive life trajectory''.
''They learn about career paths, what the in-demand
industries are, and tertiary education options,'' Mr Simmons
Youth unemployment and disengagement was a major problem in
the southern region, he said.
The community partnership between the secondary schools, the
polytechnic and professional development firm Richard Joseph
and Associates, was the first step in creating a strong,
resilient and capable economy, he said.
The Otago Community Trust grant was one of 35 given to Otago
organisations, worth $611,300 in total, in April. Other
recipients were: the Central Otago Regional Orchestra
(Alexandra) $1000; Omakau School $10,000; the Robbie White
Charitable Trust (Dunedin) $400; Dunedin Poultry, Pigeon and
Cage Bird Club $400; Harbour Rugby Football Club Inc
(Dunedin) $500; Otago Polytechnic Dunedin School of Art $750;
the Wingatui Community Hall Society $2500; Otago University
Debating Society $3000; Queen's High School $3000; the
Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust $4000; NZ Salmon Anglers'
Association (Otago branch) $4000; Dunedin Community Transport
Trust $10,000; Otago University Rowing Club $10,000; Otago
Sports Car Club $15,000; Bridging the Gap $26,250; the
Fortune Theatre Trust $45,000; Reid Park Kindergarten
(Mosgiel) $5000; the Waitaki Tourism Association (Oamaru)
$4000; Taki Rua Productions Society $3000; the Chamber Music
NZ Trust $4000; Outward Bound $67,500; the Waikouaiti Amateur
Music and Drama Society Inc $3000; NZ Mountain Film Festival
Charitable Trust (Wanaka) $5000; Southern Lakes Arts Festival
Trust (Wanaka) $45,000.