The four SSC summer interns. From left to right: Fereti Ne’emia, Latayvia Tualasea-Tautai , Hannah Dewes, and Poppy Lance.
Today SSC hosted about 50 interns at Pathways & Stepping Stones, an event that marked the end of summer intern programmes across the public service.
The event helped interns to develop a better understanding of the public service career pathways available (including the various graduate programmes in place across the sector), to connect with their spirit of service, and to network with recruiters and fellow interns.
The group were welcomed with a mihi from Dave Kohai of the Tūhono Māori Public Service Network, before the opening address from Helen Potiki, Deputy Chief Executive, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. This paved the way for a variety of activities and sessions – including the opportunity to hear from a panel of recruiters and speak with them after.
I can’t stress enough how important programmes like these are for attracting young talent to government agencies, while providing an excellent opportunity for university students or recent graduates to learn first-hand about working in the public service.
It is encouraging to read that graduates are rating public service positions highly – with a recent student survey revealing seven government organisations in the top 20 of the country’s graduate employers.
This is the first year we have had four interns at SSC – and I must say they were incredibly impressive. These interns came to us through the Victoria University of Wellington, Tupu Tai, and Tupu Toa internship programmes.
It is great to see the increasing diversity of early-in-career public servants, and programmes such as Tupu Tai and Tupu Toa are a big part of that. Tupu Tai is a public sector programme for Pasifika, while Tupu Toa is cross-sector and open to Māori and Pasifika students. They are fantastic initiatives that help to build a public service that best reflects the communities we serve.
The public service is changing. We have new public service legislation currently under select committee consideration. Early-in-career public servants will be an important part of building the unified public service that we want – and that the legislation will enable. They are also tomorrow’s leaders, and they will help to shape the future of our public service and the history of New Zealand.
I wish all the interns the very best of luck in their careers – hopefully in the public service!