Rutherford and Bond Toyota recently gave students a taste of the world of work as part of the employer-led Work Inspiration programme, supported by Careers New Zealand. The programme gives students valuable insights into how a business runs, and helps prepare them for work.
“Rutherford and Bond Toyota aimed to give students a hands-on approach to learning,” says Toyota’s human resources co-ordinator Jamal Peneha. “Students are in a classroom all day, so we wanted to stay away from that type of environment and place a high emphasis on the actual real-life experience”.
The feedback from students involved in the programme was extremely positive. Students especially enjoyed the time spent with the used vehicle sales team, where they were given the specs of two vehicles and then asked to sell the vehicles to their peers in a role-playing situation.
Students walked away with key employability skills to add to their CV:
- Communication skills – students interacted with staff who showed them how to build working relationships and exposed them to how diverse workplaces are when it comes to employees’ age, experience and knowledge
- Time management – a tight schedule was in place to make sure sessions didn’t run over and students would always arrive and meet on time
- Team work – students completed rotations and activities in groups with their peers and Toyota staff.
The programme gave students the opportunity to see parts of the business they would otherwise not know existed. “They were able to see that a business is far bigger than what they see on the frontline. We were able to expose them to numerous departments, and demonstrate how each department works together to keep the business up and running,” says Jamal.
Benefits for staff as well as students
The Work Inspiration experience was also beneficial to the staff at Toyota. Jamal believes that continuing these programmes will help boost staff morale at Rutherford and Bond Toyota. “Staff were excited and proud to showcase their department to the students, and demonstrate the workings of it. The interaction with the younger generation was great and we enjoyed passing on our words of wisdom”.
Career development consultant Juli Paurini agrees that Work Inspiration at Toyota was a great opportunity not only for the students, but also the staff. “Toyota learned how to better recruit young people and also the way they can be approached. It was great for them to hear the students’ experiences and opinions,” says Juli. “They enjoyed helping and assisting the young people to broaden their horizons and have a better understanding of the workforce”.
Find out more
If you’re an employer and are interested in coming on board, contact Careers New Zealand on 0800 222 7333 and ask about Work Inspiration.