Sharing learning from both sides of the wire

A cutting-edge idea is bringing two groups of Hawke's Bay students together in the name of business.

A unique enterprise is bringing students from two very different schools together.

Five youth prisoners at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison are working with boys from St John’s College, Hastings, to complete Level 4 qualifications, and in doing so, have established a company.

Head of Commerce at St John’s College, David Ivory, generated the spark when he encouraged his business students to think big with their Young Enterprise project.

“Five students from years 11–13 were enrolled in the national Young Enterprise competition, and their goal was to engage with other young people who were living a different life journey,” he explains.

“Youth at Hawke’s Bay Prison seemed a logical choice but there was a wariness as many obstacles would need to be overcome.

“We made an initial approach to the Young Offender’s Unit there and found not only a willingness to engage but a proactive approach by management at the prison who were so passionate about improving outcomes and providing quality opportunities for their youth.

“I believe that both the prison and school have benefited equally from this project,” he says.

What resulted from the partnership is a company called BRUTHAS, through which the students work together to design, test, craft, market and sell ‘Just Boards’ – handcrafted bread boards.

Although more expensive than those available from homeware chain stores, the students are focusing on the material, design, and quality in their marketing plan, as well as the unique partnership story that accompanies them.

All students involved meet together for lessons, with some further instruction work done via email in pursuit of credits for the Level 4 New Zealand Institute of Management paper 836.


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