“A transformational piece in the youth employability support service pipeline puzzle.”

The NZ Government’s Youth Employment Action Plan (2019) highlights the strengths of current system of education, training and employment supports already in place, but recognizes that there are also areas that need to be worked on in going forward.

There are many pieces already put together giving quite a complete picture of the existing pipeline of employability support services in NZ. But there is room for improvements. The Government and supporting agencies are still looking for a few key pieces of the puzzle missing in the picture to produce greater and lasting outcomes for the youths to achieve a meaningful and fulfilling career and personal lives.

Currently, there are strength-based approaches supported by good pastoral care and mentoring in the employability pipeline of services and they have served the system well in helping the youths to develop desirable and useful employability skills and competencies. With this in mind, one of the goals (or improvement) identified in the Youth Employment Action Plan points to where a key missing piece of the puzzle is, and that is to “… support our young people onto a stronger pathway to reaching their fullest potential and building resilience and adaptability for the future.” (Forward by Employment Minister). Furthermore, another key missing piece of the puzzle has also been identified, and that is the “Whole-of-person services that can help people overcome challenges and meaningfully engage with training and employment can be difficult to access, particularly for those who face a range of barriers.” (page 8).

What is showing up here appears to be that there are no dedicated employability support service that offers a potential-based and whole of person approach available in the current pipeline of services; one that is focused solely on supporting youths to fully realise, express and unleash their full potential inter-weaved with an integral approach centered on the whole of person (in being fully human) as a youth in what could be the prime of one’s life to achieve life-long employability and career goals

We must also keep in mind another important factor that must be keeping unemployed youths, service providers, employers and policy makers awake at night. It has been widely known that “technology-IT-AI” advancements are a dominant force in the future of work, one that we must deal with and prepare for. The future of work, already a new normal, adds another challenge or barrier for unemployed youths to make informed choices in an increasingly complex and fast-changing environment throughout the pre- and post-employment service support pipeline.

In the face of such complex and volatile work environment, a pertinent question is “Where and how can youths find a firm “ground” to stand on to make informed choice in achieving their life goals, where the reality is that change is constant in life?  

In other words, what is it that is the constant ‘ground’ within the dimensions of a youth as a fully human person where they can tap into when everything around them is complex, uncertain, complex and ambiguous?[1]

For us at Being at Full Potential NZ, through our research and thought leadership, we have developed a practical developmental way to help youths to find that constant “ground” to stand on and tap into when facing complex environment in their lives. This “ground” is the realisation and unlocking of their full human potential that is infinitely constant, and always available, and the source is in the whole of person, yet to be fully realised and ‘woken-up’

“EMPLOYABILITY in the future requires us to go beyond the traditional hard and soft skills. Ultimately, it is about expressing and unleashing HUMAN POTENTIAL. In other words, we need to encourage job aspirants to look deep inside themselves and connect with the creativity and passion that fuels their unique craft and inspires greatness. Only this will unleash the next wave of value-creation for organizations while at the same time providing a deeper meaning for the individual.” [2]

In addition, we also created a “Employability and Future of Work” assessment so that it becomes a tangible and practical tool to measure human potential dimensions and to use the human metrics to help increase the employability level by unlocking potential of the youths as a whole person.

It may be of interest that we conducted two small-sized pilot youth employability workshop/mentoring programs in 2019 in South Auckland. This was the first-time the pioneering Employability and Future of Work assessment tool and the human potential developmental methodology has been tested and applied in NZ and this would be among the first in the world as well.

We are looking for further collaboration with interested agencies to conduct more field applications of our workshop/mentoring programs, with the confidence that our tools and programs can be scaled up as a viable employability support service that helps youths to overcome systemic barriers to employment they constantly encounter today, and get back on track to building and living a full potential youthful and adult lives. 

“The reality is that your full human potential (and performance) is already there, willingly waiting for your consent to be brought forth into the world. It is closer than you think.” (Being at Full Potential NZ)

The figure below summarises how our Employability and Future of Work service is put together conceptually. We believe that our Employability and future of work assessment tools and methodology will provide the key missing piece of the puzzle that will contribute and add greater value to the desired outcomes outlined in the Youth Employment Action Plan.  

Written by Peter Leong – 8th July 2020

Change Strategy Limited in partnership with Being at Full Potential (Global)

For more information, contact Peter Leong at pleong@beingatfullpotential.nz or call 0211902828


[1] A ‘VUCA’ world

[2] From the Youth Employability and Future of Work assessment report – Being at Full Potential.