Up to 30 Manawatū secondary school students will get the chance to hear first-hand from some of the country’s top young talent as part of an initiative to fill some of the region’s primary sector skills gaps.

The initiative, called New Zealand Future Leaders, will be a new event during New Zealand AgriFood Week 2020 (16 – 22 March 2020), created and supported by The Factory, Talent Central and Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA).

NZ Future Leaders will bring together six mentors who are in the city for an event taking place later in the week, the AgTech Hackathon – a two day ‘hack’ that will see innovators experiment with the latest technology to provide solutions for real world challenges. The mentors are representing the companies who have supplied the Hackathon challenges including Microsoft, Zespri, LIC New Zealand and others.

AgTech Hackathon Event Organiser, Johnelle Hosking, of The Factory thinks it is a great opportunity to utilise some of the exciting talent who will be a part of the Hackathon.

“These mentors are some of the future leaders in the primary industry so when the chance came about to share their knowledge and experiences with our young people, we couldn’t pass it up,” says Hosking.

“We hear a lot from those either at the peak or nearing the end of their career, but this event is different, instead putting the spotlight on those who are still on the climb – only 5 to 10 years into their career – who are close enough in age with the students that they can really relate.”

Talent Central’s CEO, Margaret Kouvelis, said she’s excited to show our young talent a variety of career pathways.

“Success looks different for everyone,” says Kouvelis. “Career’s nowadays do not follow one straight line, they zig, and they zag, and we need students to know this early – we’re getting them work ready by providing them with a realistic view on where their future might take them.”

CEDA’s Chief Executive, Linda Stewart, also acknowledges we need to do this work for our local businesses to have a higher success rate in attracting and retaining skilled talent.

“We know the biggest barrier to business growth is access to the right talent. It’s important we use events like New Zealand AgriFood Week to expose our local and young talent to the opportunities available to them,” says Stewart.

“As Manawatū builds its reputation as a global agrifood hub, showcasing career pathways in our primary industries, agritech and food production is a natural fit.”

For more information:
communications@ceda.nz
06 350 1830

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