Western Bay of Plenty students have been given an insight into the jobs available to them in the horticulture industry.
As part of the Cultivate Your Career event, 150 students from 10 Western Bay of Plenty schools took a bus tour around Tauranga to visit Robotics Plus, Tūhono Whenua Horticulture and the Port of Tauranga today in a bid to show the wide range of career opportunities available in the industry.
Local businesses promote technical, scientific and commercial occupations under the theme of multi-faceted innovation.
In addition, students saw a presentation from Zespri and participated in an activity with Kiwi leaders.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The tour debunks preconceived ideas of the industry by showing that horticulture offers high-level careers in a range of scientific, technical and commercial areas.
Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower Upskilling Inc chairwoman Katy McGinity said the Bay of Plenty region was home to a multitude of world-class innovative businesses and as an industry "we want to showcase this and the career opportunities available to our young people on their back doorstep".
Students were transported from schools in Tauranga, Te Puke, Waihi and Rotorua. Each bus had two industry ambassadors on board talking about their own careers in horticulture and answered students' questions. Students spent more than an hour at each business undertaking practical activities relating to process, product and marketing innovation as well as the specific careers available in these fields.
Horticulture is New Zealand's fourth largest primary industry with an export revenue increasing steadily each year to a projected $5.4 billion in 2018.
Kiwifruit is a strong example of the industry's growth with a current indirect impact of $1.8 billion in the Bay of Plenty. Kiwifruit production is forecast to double by 2030. To achieve this growth the industry requires skilled talent who can help drive horticulture's success further.
The kiwifruit industry in the Bay of Plenty employs 10,762 people which is expected to increase to 25,091 by 2030.
The Cultivate Your Career event will continue on April 10 when students from the eastern Bay of Plenty will have the chance to tour businesses around Opotiki.