Manfeild perfect for jobFEST
AN exposition primarily providing students insight into employment opportunities in a regionally-crucial industry is an exciting initiative for host venue Manfeild.
JobFEST is a first-of-a-kind event on June 20 likely to pull thousands of attendees, the majority comprising year 12 and 13 secondary students from central New Zealand.
An event that provides focus on the transport industry, with 50 companies providing displays and showcasing jobs spanning a multitude of areas of expertise, capitalises on Manfeild Stadium’s impressive display space.
“There is no place better suited in the region for jobFEST than Manfeild and, in particular, Manfeild Stadium,” says Margaret Kouvelis, chief executive of Talent Central, a bridge between students and employers co-organising this event with heavy vehicle fleet specialist TR Group.
“When you’re talking about an event of this significant size, especially at this time of year, you need a venue of commensurate substance and scale and that is Manfeild.
“It will provide opportunity for attendees to not only engage with people in the industry but also have a hands-on experience with the tools of this trade, which include some rather substantial vehicles.”
An undertaking centring on an industry that employs 91,000 people, creates one in seven jobs within the Manawatu and is likely to rise in importance regionally - yet is crying out for employees – could be just the beginning.
Mrs Kouvelis envisages jobFESTs becoming annual and multiplying to include other service sectors.
That’s welcome news for Manfeild chief executive Julie Keane, who says this vision synchs with the venue’s ambition.
“We are already very proactive in working with school students with our National Driver Training Centre where, of course, the aim is to provide youngsters with a driver’s licence before they reach employment.
“This inaugural jobFEST ties with our view about why it is so important to hold a licence – the road transport sector is an exciting space for job-seekers fresh from school.
“It alone employs 37,000 people and a further 15,000 are estimated to be indirectly employed.
“There is massive potential and many of the prospects require applicants to hold a licence. This is why NDTC will have an active role to play in the display zone.”
Refrigeration, warehousing, engineering, logistics, mechanical, sales and marketing, procurement, personal care and development and administration are among subjects being spanned by jobFEST.
Mr Arber says the logistics and transport industries generate billions of dollars in turnover annually yet the career pathways it offers are not always well recognised.
“The transport industry is a vibrant place and the clients we deal with are all suffering from the same thing – a lack of staff.
“There is massive opportunity in this industry and it is beneficial for us to be associated because, when our clients add staff, they are likely to be driving the trucks we provide.”
JobFEST is open to everyone yet aims particularly at students. Many of the 42 secondary schools within the Horizons’ region have confirmed attendance and Mrs Keane is looking forward to seeing the venue swarming with students from as far afield as Wellington, Taranaki, the Waimarino and Tararua.
Mrs Kouvelis is heartened schools have embraced a concept that will allow their students to see, touch and get a real feel for what it would be like to work for an industry crying out for employees.
The aim from the day is to place 100 people into employment, whether part-time, casual or fulltime.
“Even businesses that don’t currently have vacancies have been encouraged to attend, as data collected on the day could help with future employment opportunities as they arise.”
Caption: (From left) National Driver Training Centre programme manager Michael Barbour, TR Group regional manager Richie Arber and Margaret Kouvelis, Talent Central chief executive, are excited by the opportunities jobFEST will provide.Back