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Meet the NZ winners of the Excellence in Social Purpose RCSA Industry Award

Student Job Search were this year’s winners of the New Zealand Excellence in Social Purpose RCSA Industry Award. CEO, Suzanne Boyd, reflects on the organisation’s growth from humble beginnings and how winning the award acknowledges the socio-economic outcomes they have delivered.

If you were at university in the eighties or nineties, even the early noughties, you probably remember Student Job Search (SJS) with a fondness, a nostalgia for its humble beginnings as a jobs board on campuses across Aotearoa. Perhaps you were one of the students lining up to get first dibs on the latest listings, keen to make that first call to the employer on the other end of the phone line.

Things have changed a lot for SJS since then.

Still loved by our 60,000 strong national student community as the trusted bridge between study and employment, nowadays, we’re so much more.

Through a comprehensive suite of services - an online jobs board, email and phone-based employment support and on-campus workshops to name a few – we support students throughout their entire tertiary experience and for up to two years after they graduate.

Our offerings span both part-time and full-time roles, paid internships and graduate programmes. We place students into an average of 27,000 jobs each year, and last year alone, we helped students to earn over $113M in income, doing our bit to prop up the economy at a time when COVID had completely changed the employment landscape.

The SJS of today is built on unshakeable connections with the student community, unwavering loyalty from employers who’ve been with us for generations, and a constant drive to do more.

Being selected for the RCSA’s Excellence in Social Purpose award is an acknowledgment of the vital contribution we’ve made in driving better socio-economic outcomes for all New Zealanders, be it students, graduates or employers. We pride ourselves on our commitment to social purpose, so this award has given us pause to reflect on just how far we’ve come.

As a not-for-profit, values-driven organisation, our people are united by the drive to do good and to make a meaningful difference, so we’re thankful to the RCSA’s judging panel for seeing what we see in ourselves.

This recognition motivates us to continue to deliver amazing outcomes and to inspire other organisations to join us in this mission.

More social good on the horizon for SJS

As we continue supporting students, employers, and the wider community, we’ve identified two key focus areas informed by our commitment to social purpose, and we’re looking for aligned partners to join us on the journey.

Firstly, we’re working on providing better employment opportunities and support for Māori and Pasifika students. We’ve made huge headway already - despite a saturated graduate employment market, this year we more than tripled candidate diversity for the Department of Internal Affairs’ GovTechTalent Graduate Programme from the previous year, with 39 per cent of successful candidates being Māori or Pasifika.

Secondly, we’re striving to empower graduates throughout New Zealand to prosper, whether that’s by securing meaningful employment or having access to wrap-around support services such as confidence and resilience coaching workshops.

These are our priorities for the foreseeable future, and while we’ve already achieved so much, with the right support we know we could do so much more.

So, if you represent an organisation looking to support young people into employment, education, or both, I strongly encourage you to connect with us at SJS.

Perhaps you’re recruiting right now, frustrated by the current state of play and looking for innovative ways to connect with fresh talent – get in touch, and let’s see what we can achieve together.

Suzanne Boyd

Chief Executive

Student Job Search

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