A website that connects teenagers to employers and individuals, looking to get a job done.
While looking for part time work, I discovered there was no easy way to find the jobs that were out there for young people.Established job seeker websites are developed with older people in mind, and there was nothing for school students looking for part time work. While pondering this situation, I learnt of the Young Innovator Awards. I decided that a website designed to help teenagers into jobs would be a good idea for the competition.
After further research on this issue, I discovered that the youth unemployment rate in New Zealand is very high, with 11.2% of 15– 19 year olds unemployed. This costs the government $345 million dollars a year. I felt that young people had a lot to offer, but needed an easier way to connect with potential employers.
My idea, Teen Jobs, is innovative because it flips the traditional job finding experience over. Rather than the employer listing a job, which can be impractical, expensive and time consuming for smaller and part time positions, employers select potential employees from a database of registered teenagers. There are several search criteria they can use to narrow down the results, such as job type, location of work and days the teenager is available. Above all, the Teen Jobs site is designed to be simple and free to use.
I entered the Young Innovators Awards with my idea and was fortunate enough to come third place in the junior category. I had the opportunity to attend a YiA finalist workshop, where myself and the other finalists got to experience each other’s many innovative ideas. The YiA competition really inspired me to see how far this could go.
After my success at YiA, I was encouraged to develop Teen Jobs, as it would make a real difference to teenagers and the way they find work. Teen Jobs can help teenagers find employment and gain valuable employment related skills.My vision is to lower the youth unemployment rate by making teenagers easier to employ, learn work skills and gain experience and to be more employment ready when they pursue a career. If Teen Jobs can lower the youth unemployment rate by 1%, it will save the country $34.5 million!
I built the site myself from scratch. I initially had only a basic understanding of programming from my time at Mount Maunganui College, but developed my skills through YouTube videos and the internet. There were challenging times as the project grew and developed, but I persisted and increased my knowledge to overcome these. There were many unexpected complexities that I had to work through. How to programme a database? How could we keep teenagers safe on the site? (introduced multiple layers of safety features). What are the legal responsibilities of employers? (e.g. teenagers under 14 years old cannot babysit, IRD responsibilities, etc).
Through the journey I was fortunate to have the support of family, friends and the community. I learned that with a good cause, people are prepared to help.
Teen Jobs went live on 1 December 2018 and now has over 250 teenagers registered across Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty. It is continuing to grow every day! I believe that Teen Jobs’ unique and simple model will see it become the go-to site for connecting teenagers with work opportunities.
Visit the Teen Jobs website at https://www.teenjobs.co.nz/
See Weekend Sun article posted Friday 21 December 2018:
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