What if someone told you that you could get a job with a trade in a speed-dating set-up?
Young people in the Bay of Plenty will have the chance to have a crack at being interviewed in a fun environment and could walk away with an offer from an employer.
The Ministry of Education in partnership with Got a Trade? Got it Made! will host free SpeedMeets in the Bay of Plenty next month.
It is in conjunction with industry training organisations, local secondary schools and community partners.
The Regional Economic Activity web tool found 11.9 per cent of 15 to 24-year-olds were not in education, employment, or training (neets).
This was the second-highest region in the country, behind Hawke's Bay at 17.8 per cent.
At the SpeedMeet, students will be interviewed by employers in the speed-dating style and after each mini-interview, the student and the employer note "yes", "no" or "maybe".
If both parties want to meet again, students may receive an offer of work experience, training, apprenticeship or potential employment.
There is no cost to attend and it will run from approximately 9.30am to 2.30pm.
Ministry of Education deputy secretary Rose Jamieson said getting a job for the first time could be intimidating.
"It can be difficult for young people when they don't always understand what employers are looking for or don't have those relationships with employers in their community," she said.
Industry Training Federation chief executive Josh Williams said it would help young people build confidence and network through meeting actual employers, which was invaluable.
"It's a great place to meet a potential employer," he said.
Rotorua Novotel Hotels and Resorts human resources manager Julie Marino said most of the school-leavers they hired start off quite shy.
"But as they learn on the job, they become confident and eventually take on more responsibility and grow. It's great to watch," she said.
She encouraged employers to give young people a go.
"They need to start somewhere. After all, they're our future employers, managers and leaders."
SpeedMeets include employers and industry training organisations from a range of industries - automotive, construction, engineering, healthcare, infrastructure, primary industries, retail, service industries, and more.
"Employers are seeking out young talent to address current need and future-proof their workforce."
He said there were significant skill shortages across the board in the trades and services industries which were crucial jobs that kept New Zealand going.
For more information on the event, go to www.gotatrade.co.nz/events.
The SpeedMeet events:
Rotorua, September 18, Rotorua Community Youth Centre, 6 Te Ngae Rd, Victoria
Tauranga, September 19, Atrium Café, 252 Otumoetai Rd,
Time: 9.30am to 2.30pm