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Career Paths on show at four Career Expos

Tuesday 30 April 2013, 3:02PM

By Sharp Angles

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The Careers Expo, engaging the future workforce.
The Careers Expo, engaging the future workforce. Credit: New Zealand Careers Expo

The 2013 Careers Expo is forecasting the attendance of 50,000 students, at four regional locations it is New Zealand’s largest careers, employment and tertiary education event.

The Careers Expo represents an opportunity for businesses and Industry Organisations to engage positively with the future workforce and address future skills shortages. Alongside tertiary and training providers, businesses and industry representatives are encouraged to look ahead, by advising youth on career opportunities they can have a positive socio-economic impact on future skills shortages and youth unemployment.

The Careers Expo has 22 years of history connecting students and schools with employers, industry and tertiary and training providers. Adding a 4th expo in Hamilton to the popular annual expos in Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington means a significantly larger attendance.

The expo’s Director Mark Gillard is forecasting for over 50,000 students to attend, from at least 145 schools, ‘We’re excited by the new format, it will be a fresh experience for schools and long-term exhibitors and it has created positive interest from businesses and industries organisations as new exhibitors and participants.’

Briar Frecklington of Fletcher Building explains why the Expos appeal to their business, 'The Careers Expo is part of our long term attraction strategy at Fletcher Building, ensuring that we can talk to youth about the skills we require in our businesses today, and over the next 5 years.’

‘With tens of thousands of school students visiting the Careers Expos in New Zealand's four major centres, it’s a great opportunity for us to meet young people at a time when they are considering their study and work options, and discuss the various career opportunities that could be available to them at Fletcher Building.'

This year the Careers Expo introduces an enhanced experience for visitors and exhibitors, showcasing the new Vocational Pathways program. Starting with the Christchurch Expo, May 16th to 18th, the 2013 expo introduces the new event format in conjunction with Vocational Pathways. The Careers Expo has formed a strong partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth Guarantee and Careers New Zealand who’ve identified the expo as an ideal launch platform for the Vocational Pathways framework.

The Vocational Pathways include five industry sectors: construction and infrastructure, manufacturing and technology, primary and service industries, and social and community services.

Ministry of Education’s Arthur Graves, National Manager Youth Guarantees Network explains their partnership with the Careers Expo ‘The promotion of the Vocational Pathways and Careers Expo 2013 will provide students an easy-to-use tool to help them decide their potential career and study pathways.  It is an important opportunity for students, parents and whanau to engage directly with employers and better understand how they can be prepared for future employment or further education.’

Universities and Tertiary institutes are always well represented at the Expo for students seeking further study and specialisation. Now with Vocational Pathways and a growing number of industry and business exhibitors the Careers Expo better serves students who wish to join the workforce or trade training schemes directly, some 70% of school leavers.

The 2013 Careers Expos provides a positive step to address youth unemployment. Recent international research reported that increased contact between businesses and students correlates to a reduced number of young people who end up unemployed and out of training. 

Mark Gillard says “We’ve always known that the Careers Expo helps students to see their future opportunities in study. We’re working hard to communicate to businesses that they have a part to play, they should identify the value of informing students of the opportunities and the skills and qualifications desired, helping create a productive workforce that answers their resourcing needs.”

With the new Vocational Pathways format and the presence of prospective employers, tertiary institutions, training providers and trade organisations, the 2013 Careers Expo aims to engage young people, informing them, helping establish real opportunities and career directions.

Careers Expo locations and dates:
Christchurch, CBS Canterbury Arena, Riccarton
16th-18th May
Auckland, ASB Showgrounds
6th-8th June
Wellington, TSB Bank Arena
23-24th June
Hamilton, Claudelands Event Centre
4th-5th August