Otago secondary school pupils had an opportunity to learn more about primary industry careers during a Get Ahead Experience Day in Dunedin.

Ten events were being held throughout New Zealand as part of a commitment to connect pupils, educators and employers, and to increase their understanding of pathways within the primary industries, Keela Atkinson-Cranwell, of Careers New Zealand, said.

The day was designed to be practical, fun and interactive, with a focus on "pasture to plate". There was a chance to talk to young professionals in the industry, hear about new technologies and practices, and chat with career experts about navigating career and study options.

New Zealand Young Farmers field officer Leanne Oosthuizen said there were some new modules this year, including horticulture, while guest speakers ranged from a Landcare Research ecologist to a Ravensdown chemical engineer.


"Essentially it's for kids to come along and improve their knowledge . . . get them to realise that there's more about the primary industry than meets the eye," she said.

She was delighted with the response from those pupils attending.

Careers New Zealand and New Zealand Young Farmers recently signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to educate, promote and create awareness of the opportunities in the primary industries sector.

The agreement was another important step in trying to attract labour into agriculture, in line with the Government's 2020 export goals for the sector, Careers New Zealand acting chief executive Hugh Kettlewell said.