The Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) has today launched a pilot programme which offers high school students a four-day introduction to the distribution and logistics sector.
The programme’s focus is to work with companies to raise awareness and give students an understanding of the different career opportunities within one of Manawatu’s biggest industries.
The pilot currently involves nine Year 12 and Year 13 students from Queen Elizabeth College who are given an overview of the different roles, career pathways, and daily operational systems of companies including Halls Refrigerated Transport, Icepak Longburn and Bidfood.
“It is critical we broaden both schools and students’ awareness of how diverse this industry is and the important role it plays in Manawatu’s economy,” says Linda Stewart, CEDA’s Chief Executive. “More than 10,000 people in Manawatū are employed in the sector and the job growth and earnings are growing at rates significantly above national averages.”
In 2016 CEDA undertook a foundation research project which identified the distribution and logistics sector as a key industry with opportunity for economic growth.
However, further research* identified a shortage of staff and skills with 700 local positions needing to be filled in Manawatū the next five years.
In response, CEDA partnered with Talent Central and worked with key industry leaders and education providers to develop the programme to collectively respond to the challenge of attracting new talent. “A crucial element is working with the businesses to make sure they are doing their part,” says Ms Stewart. “At the rate the sector is growing, companies can not rely on the existing labour pool and hiring employees from the competition, they need to make sure they have programmes in place to attract new and young people, and retain them.”
Talent Central is managing the roll out of the programme, which will be available to all high schools in Manawatū in 2018.
“It is about changing young peoples’ perceptions of the industry and making them aware of other options,” says Kelly Gay, Talent Central’s Director of Student Futures. “At the moment there are a lot of conversations around free tertiary education and that’s great, but the reality is there are a lot of local jobs that need to be filled, which is really important for the region’s economy.”
Students who participate in the programme can gain 10 NCEA credits.
*Distribution and Logistics Sector Labour Market Survey 2016, commissioned by CEDA and Immigration NZ
For more information:
06 350 1830