Growing Our Region

A feast of jobs at JobFest

Talent Central, based in the Manawatū, fosters relationships between our education and business communities to harness the growth in skills and talent our region needs. ​

As an organisation they are constantly looking at ways to create greater connections between the two groups. The inaugural 
JobFest event was one of the exciting solutions. 

JobFest was held at Manfeild Park in June this year with 800 students, educational staff and exhibitors in attendance. The purpose of the daylong event was to provide an easy way for businesses to get in front of employee prospects who were interested in joining the Logistics, Distribution or Transport industries.
It was an opportunity to fulfill a need, in industries that are really struggling to find young talent. It is an issue that has been brewing for some time, coming to the forefront of minds in recent times due to the extra workforce needed to complete major projects such as the new Manawatū Gorge route. Work on the replacement route is expected to commence in 2020.

JobFest was an interactive experience for attendees, with young people given the opportunity to get hands on with equipment and tools. Highlights included the opportunity to paint a wall with a digger at the Higgins exhibit and the impressive equipment displays by ProMed. It was also an informal opportunity for Year 12 and 13 students to get in front of potential employers and have a chat about job prospects and career pathways.

Job seekers could pre-register their details online before or on June 20th, allowing details to be passed on to employers in the industry. Most schools also worked with their students to develop their CVs and practice their interview and communication skills.

An industry luncheon was also held on the day with community leaders, to raise awareness of the needs of the industry.

Talent Central Chief Executive Margaret Kouvelis was thrilled with the response to the day and the feedback received from exhibitors so far.

“Surveys have gone out to exhibitors, careers advisors and school staff and feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive,” she says.

“There is a real need for this type of event, as it provides a direct link between students and businesses and we will certainly be looking to expand its reach for next time around.”

“The plan is to attract businesses from further afield and other sectors, while also attracting people looking for jobs who may not be students.”

There is a huge amount of work involved with this type of event. Talent Central seems to have a winning formula and JobFest 2019 is definitely in the pipeline. Watch this space!