With more than 20 Tararua businesses and organisations represented a mini careers evening held at Dannevirke High School last week was deemed to be a success.
Principal Di Carter was pleased with the turnout of businesses and students, particularly after the event was delayed from the August date because of Covid-19.
When the idea for a careers expo was first mooted Carter approached Tararua Rural Education Programme (REAP) for help to organise the event and this was coordinated by REAP receptionist Lynley Densham.
Dannevirke High School deputy principal Matt Melvin and assistant principal Charlie Menzies drove the project.
Menzies said the school had been wanting to organise a career expo for some time but just didn't have the resources or the time to do so.
"What we really wanted to do was to build a relationship with the community and this has been a really good step toward building that link between students and employers. Having REAP involved meant they could bring in a lot of their resources."
Tararua REAP employment liaison co-ordinator Jaron Vince said REAP's role was to collaborate with employers, service organisations and iwi in Tararua and to find out where the gaps were in the skills employers required.
The school was looking to facilitate a way of meeting the needs of employers and gaining a better understanding of what those needs were.
Vince said feedback from the careers evening was being sought from students, parents and employers.
"We want to find out what we need to do next time we hold a careers evening and what students need to transition into the workforce."
A broad range of employers attended the careers evening including Police, Tararua Alliance, Alliance Group, Tararua District Council, Te Ahu a Turanga (Manawatū-Tararua Highway), Metalform, Kiwi Lumber, Downer, Barraud St Health Centre, Wai Splash, Scanpower, BUPA Rahiri Care Home, Land Based Training, MCI and Associates, AON Insurance, Westpac Bank, Dannevirke Carriers, Dorrington Poole and Partners, KB Ford, First Years Preschool, Dannevirke Tyres, a dairy farmer, Dannevirke Young Farmers and Otago University.
Some stands were naturally busier than others and some said they now had a clearer idea of what they needed to do at future expos.
While not an employer, Dannevirke Young Farmers had a strong presence at the expo.
Group chair Kit Holmes said they gave advice on how to get into a farming career.
For her working on a sheep and beef farm was a dream job because it allowed her to work with dogs.
"Dogs are the tools that we use for the job. They are the key."
Holmes said Dannevirke Young Farmers was the second biggest Young Farmers in the region.
It was not just an organisation for farmers, there were vets and teachers among their members.
"There are loads of young women who want something practical in the way of a career. It's great to see young people interested in farming."