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The introduction of a combined Trades Hub will add to the growing range of exhibitors at the Wellington Careers Expo which opens today attracting young adults from Wellington, Wairarapa and even Whanganui.
Part of efforts to expand the range of exhibitors a new Trades Hub features five Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) working together to promote trade apprenticeships and careers. With ongoing interactive demonstrations and challenges the Trade Hub is expected to be a central hive of activity popular with young adults.
The ITOs are representing a wide range of options, as diverse as ambulance officers to gas fitting, hairdressing to carpentry. Many trade areas like the building and construction industry desperately need more new apprentices, with employers struggling to fill positions.
Organisers of the expo have worked hard on expanding the range of exhibitors beyond the Universities and tertiary institutes which have remained the event’s mainstay over its 20 year history. Director Mark Gillard says “Our strategy over recent years has been focussed on growing the event, not only in size but also in variety of exhibitors, with something to appeal to everyone.”
“We attract mainly senior secondary school students as well as those looking to change careers or further their studies. Nationally some 70% of school leavers won’t actually go straight into tertiary, so we want to make sure they are also able to take away advice that will help them with planning a career path.”
One of this year’s commercial exhibitors is Restaurant Brands. The company that operates KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and Carls Jnr employs upwards of 3800 employees across the country. They are actively building a recruitment database at the exhibitions.
Restaurant Brands is just one exhibitor that will be showcasing how it is possible to start earning as soon as you leave school and then work your way up with their internal training system. They are also hoping to recruit permanent part timers who want to support their tertiary studies through a job with a recognised employer.
Primary industries are another sector with a big presence this year. Exhibitors include Dairy NZ, Young Farmers and education providers like Lincoln, Taratahi and others. Promoting primary industry careers to Wellington means getting past the perception of rural jobs being those based in a milking shed and wearing gumboots. Susan Stokes of Dairy NZ says “The technology aspects and income levels help to get the message across that there are some very cutting edge and highly skilled careers in the mix.”
The Wellington Careers Expo is on 10-3PM today and Saturday at the TSB Arena. Organisers are expecting over 6,000 visitors, with many travelling from beyond Wellington to attend. The event then moves on to Christchurch and Hamilton in coming weeks.
There is also a new Careers Expo smartphone app available for iPhone and Android which helps visitors to record which stands they visit, request more information from exhibitors and more.