Some Stratford High School students learned about how a supermarket operates last week.

Students heard from some of the lifeguards at the Stratford pool, as well as facility manager Andrea Matthews, who is also currently the acting director of community development.Going into a -22 degree freezer was part of a wider learning experience for some Stratford High School students last week.

Students headed to a range of workplaces in Stratford last Friday where they learnt about career paths and opportunities available. The visits were part of the Youth Futures Expo which took place that day.

Students heard from some of the lifeguards at the Stratford pool, as well as facility manager Andrea Matthews, who is also currently the acting director of community development
Students heard from some of the lifeguards at the Stratford pool, as well as facility manager Andrea Matthews, who is also currently the acting director of community development

Some students visited Stratford New World, learning how the business operates and what different career options a supermarket can offer.

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New World owner operators Dan and Rebecca Harris showed the students around New World's various departments during the visit and talked about various career paths within the business.

Dan explained that generally people started off in entry-level jobs like filling shelves and worked their way up, and that further training can be provided, including apprenticeships to work in the bakery and butchery.

Employees could also do national certificates and can move up through the ranks of supervision, management and even ownership.

Dan says he started in the supermarket trade operating a forklift. He moved onto to looking after 15 staff by the age of 18 and from there got into management. Now he along with his wife Rebecca own and operate Stratford New World.

Meanwhile at Stratford District Council, students heard from a range of speakers on the varying career paths they had taken.

Andrea Matthews, who is acting director of community development at Council, talked about the importance of finding what you are passionate about when it comes to career choices.

She was joined by two of the pool's lifeguards who both explained how they had started their careers in the industry and how they saw themselves moving up the ladder.

Students also heard from other staff at Council, who had a range of career paths and skill sets, from administration to accounting or engineering.

Key messages were the importance of taking opportunities as they were offered and working your way up the ladder.

As well as visits to workplaces students also had the opportunity to attend a range of displays and talks at the High School.

From 4pm the expo was also open to the public. Speakers included Daniel Fleming, general manager and co-owner of King & Queen Hotel Suites. Daniel is also the deputy chair of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce and a ministerial appointee on the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki Council. He spoke about his personal journey as well as giving advice to young people starting out in work.

Panels were also held on a range of topics including how to make a smooth transition to tertiary study and what employers are looking for.