The fresh minds of Northland's Year 11 students will have a chance to explore the full range of what the professional primary industries have in store for them in the region, thanks to two pilot expos.

The Find Your Future expo, an interactive career expo, will run in Whangārei on September 19 and Kerikeri on September 20 and will allow students to explore career possibilities in Northland's professional primary industries.

They will explore tertiary qualification options and take part in practical sessions, as well as visit professional primary industry workplaces.

Chris Mason, chief executive of the Whangārei Agricultural and Pastoral Society which is running the pilot programme with Northland Regional Council (NRC), said the expos offered a new approach to inspire the fresh young minds of the region.

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Students attending the pilot Find Your Future programme in Northland this month will discover there is more to the region's professional primary industries than working with cows. Photo / File
Students attending the pilot Find Your Future programme in Northland this month will discover there is more to the region's professional primary industries than working with cows. Photo / File

"Northland's professional primary industries are the region's strength. We want students to understand that primary industries is about more than just milking cows or picking fruit.

"The region is feeling confident about industry growth too."

However, Mason said many industry professionals had struggled to find employees.

"We want students to know about the diverse range of work available in the region."

Students will hear about NRC's geographic information systems, hydrology and land management, and from agribusiness bank Rabobank.

The Ministry for Primary Industries will share information about the management and regulation of NZ's primary industries, while SEEKA will help them learn about their fully integrated orchard-to-market service.

The Whangārei expo will run at the Barge Showgrounds Event Centre with site visits to sustainable honey producers TAHI NZ and Niwa in Ruakaka, the Northland Marine Research Centre where students will learn about ocean science in aquaculture and fisheries.

In Kerikeri, the programme will run at The Old Packhouse Market, with students visiting SEEKA, a laboratory, packhouse and orchard, and Plant and Food Research, which works to research and develop plants and food.

Mason said registrations were still being accepted.

For more information, email Jacque Knight (Enviroschools co-ordinator) at jacqueline@rahui.co.nz or Chris Mason at chris@wap.org.nz. Teachers can also register students at www.nrc.govt.nz/findyourfuture.