The New Zealand Careers Expo was welcomed to Manawatū for the first time last month, attracting nearly 3,000 attendees, 26 schools, and 56 exhibitors over an action-packed day of making connections, exploring career opportunities and business networking.

In response to the ever-increasing demand for talent and the challenges we face as a region when it comes to futureproofing our workforce, a refreshed and revitalised Careers Expo was well received amongst schools, job seekers, businesses, and support organisations.

New Zealand Careers Expo is a career-focused event which until now has only been held in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. This year CEDA partnered with New Zealand Careers Expo to bring the event to Manawatū, joining Napier as the first provincial regions to experience this nationwide event.

For 30 years the New Zealand Careers Expo has been connecting the future workforce with the best training providers, industries and career resources to equip New Zealand youth and career changers with information and networks to make smarter career choices. Additionally, New Zealand Careers Expo offers a suite of online tools for schools and students to navigate the world of work and explore current career opportunities on offer.

CEDA’s Talent and Skills Senior, Wendy Carr, was thrilled to see the event held in our region.

“Careers Expo’s are a fantastic place for our rangatahi (younger generation) to engage with a range of tertiary providers, businesses and organisations, many for the first time. There may be a career path that a young person has never heard of that piques their interest or may trigger a change in careers years down the track.”

“The Expo is also a great way for businesses to engage with youth in a relaxed, fun setting,” she says.

While the focus for the New Zealand Careers Expo was on the region’s secondary school students, there was also an opportunity from 5pm – 7pm for parents, whānau, career changers, tertiary students, and job seekers to explore the many career offerings on display.

Tessa Lyons, Head of Marketing at UCOL, enjoyed being able to meet with students face-to-face.

“The New Zealand Careers Expo provides UCOL with the opportunity to connect with students, their whānau and the community. It was great to be able to be back with this audience and show the exciting study and training options UCOL has to offer,” she says.

The event saw a mix of local and national businesses exhibiting such as Talley’s and Downer NZ with a focus on the region’s sectors of strength. National organisations, industry associations and tertiary providers were also on hand to talk to attendees about pathways from secondary school to further education, apprenticeships, and work.

Bruce Pearson of Workbridge was there to talk to attendees about their support services for both job seekers and employers.

“The New Zealand Careers Expo was a well organised and presented event that enabled Workbridge to make many contacts with local businesses, training organisations and potential candidates from the city and region.”

“It is an event we would certainly participate in again,” he noted.

The good news for exhibitors and attendees is that the New Zealand Careers Expo will be back in Manawatū in May 2023.

For attendees, schools and exhibitors, the 2022 event experience continues on long after pack-down. Check out their virtual expo here, which continues all year round where attendees can connect with exhibitors.

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