News: Eastern Bay senior school students are focussed on their futures


Eastern Bay senior school students are focussed on their futures according to 2021 Youth Survey results recently published by Toi EDA. “It’s fantastic that our secondary schools are increasingly helping students connect with industries, jobs and careers right here on our doorsteps” according to Barbara MacLennan, Toi EDA’s Workforce Manager.

Over 10% of the region’s 15-19 year old school students (370) responded to the survey, which was launched at the recent EBOP Careers Expo, and available to complete online for a full month after that. Nearly 90% said they were somewhat, confident or very confident in achieving their study and work goals after finishing school, and 45% of them said they already had paid work.

“One of the things we wanted to explore was how career and job aspirations related to our region’s industries, said Barbara. “We’d surveyed students about this back in 2017, and were pleased to see a much closer alignment this time between student aspirations and careers and jobs available in our region.” One important exception she noted is that manufacturing is our region’s second largest employing industry, but was only thirteenth in student interest rankings.
“There are so many and diverse jobs involved in this sector. We need to help our schools understand the breadth of jobs available in industries like this, and the pathways students can take. Globally there’s a growing battle for talent, and we have so much of that right here! In due course, thanks to the review of vocational education, there should soon be much more tertiary level training available in Eastern Bay, pertinent to our industries. So if our local businesses can engage with students at school and attract them into future work opportunities that will be a win all round.”

Students completing surveys at the 2021 Careers ExpoThe survey also asked students for their ideas to help improve youth employment opportunities and many respondents shared very practical options, for example “Give people ideas of what occupation opportunities there are. A lot of people my age have no idea what they are interested in because they have not been introduced to many different opportunities” and “Have guest speakers come to rural schools more often”

Toi EDA will be working with schools, tertiary providers and industries to follow up on the key themes coming out of the survey. The Full Report is at this link: There’s also a summary version, and a range of other Workforce Reports available at the Workforce Development tab on Toi EDA’s website – Workforce Development (

Toi EDA encourages students to use some of their time during our COVID-19 “at home” time to learn more about Eastern Bay job and career options, for example by interviewing family or frinds, or by searching online.

For more information:

Barbara MacLennan, Toi EDA Workforce Development Manager