Rotorua students have had an opportunity to see different aspects of the health industry in action, connect with employers, and discover pathways into the industry at Rotorua Hospital.

The Health Industry Big Day Out was held yesterday and gave young people a taste of the wealth of career options available in the health sector.

Students had the chance to see, learn and hear from Lakes District Health Board staff including midwives, nurses, surgeons, doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists.

Employees from Tipu Ora also educated students about careers in oral health, health promotion and smoking cessation.

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Rotorua Girls' High School Year 13 students Stacee Maki, 17, and Jordan Andrews, 17, said they found out about the event through the school's careers department.

"We thought it would be fun to come along to help us decide what we want to do when we finish school," Stacee said.

"I'm still a bit unsure about what I want to do but I really liked the dentistry display," Jordan said.

Stacee agreed saying she had not thought about dentistry as a career option.

"It was a bit left wing, not something I have really considered," she said.

Both Stacee and Jordan said they were drawn to a career in the health industry for its hands on reputation and the ability to help others.

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Careers New Zealand education to employment connections manager - initiatives Wendy Drumm said the event was an important part of the Careers New Zealand education-to-employment strategy.

"It's our aim to have every student who attends today's event leaving inspired, educated and well informed about the many opportunities for work and study in the health sector."

The event was held in partnership with Kia Ora Hauora Maori workforce health development programme, which aims to increase Maori access to health career information along with the number of Maori working within the health industry.

Kia Ora Hauora midland programme co-ordinator Fallyn Flavell said Maori were the highest users of the health system and "in order to increase the health and wellbeing of Maori in our community it is vital that we build a strong Maori health workforce".