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Coaching service helps students stay open-minded about careers

Students in Years 9 to 13 are receiving personalised, one-to-one advice through a unique career coaching service.

ACG Tauranga is the only school in the Bay of Plenty offering Swivel Careers’ bespoke programme. The course assesses students’ personality, skill-set, interests and ambitions to provide career and study information – and even relevant work experience.

Students say it helps them understand more about themselves, opens their mind to options and helps prepare them for future decision making.

The course is part of a wider school strategy around student support and the provision of a strong pastoral care programme for college level students. It also aligns with the school’s tutor programme.

Outsourcing made sense, said principal Shawn Hutchinson.

“What I’m concerned about is making sure our students have the best, most current advice and options open to them. We spent a lot of time putting together the programme, so it’s staged year on year and developed specifically for our families.”

He said it was beneficial for students to have an impartial, non-family adult to talk to and provide them with options they may not have considered, particularly when results don’t work out as expected.

This was a highlight for Theo Maddox in Year 11 whose conversation with coach Linda brought to light qualities and personality traits that he wasn’t previously aware of. “It opened my eyes, but also showed me that it is too soon to specify and tunnel vision on a certain career path,” he explained.

For Summer Fidow in Year 12, the course helped her to be open minded about her future. “Answering questions that truly made me reflect and think helped me avoid having a set mindset and be open to other career choices.”

Gone are the days of a guidance counsellor spending ten minutes a year with each student, said Swivel’s Kate Ross who helped develop the programme.

“It’s no longer a case of filling out a questionnaire and simply watching a computer spit out an answer.”