Ready for a world of work
A showcase of educational and employment opportunities celebrates its fourth anniversary tomorrow at Palmerston North’s Central Energy Trust Arena.
Sort It is a regionally based initiative to put secondary students and jobseekers in contact with tertiary training institutions, along with making them aware of vocational and career opportunities.
It’s championed by Palmerston North city councillor, and chairman of the council’s Economic Development Committee and Employment, Adrian Broad.
‘‘There’s 2600 high school kids booked. The idea of the expo is to expose these kids to businesses, and to give them a look at the training and educational pathways they can take.’’
Broad said the idea came from Feilding’s 2013 Where’s My Job? promotion, and with the support of then-mayor of Manawatu District Council, Margaret Kouvelis, was expanded into the regional Sort It the following year.
He pointed out that only 30 per cent of school leavers were university-bound.
‘‘That means that 70 per cent are either going to other institutions such as UCOL, or going directly into work - or they are going to struggle.
‘‘The objective is to have all our school leavers in tertiary training or in work.’’
Knowing their children had prospects was also reassuring for parents, while youth employment helped reduce crime, suicide and poverty.
‘‘We need not only to train but retain people in the region, all based on the city being a good place to find a career. If people are looking at changing careers, then here are some options.’’
Broad said the expo concept was gaining momentum, and from initially ’’running on the smell of an oily rag’’, Sort It had picked up $15,000 annual funding from the Palmerston North City Council for the next 10 years. There was input from the Central Economic Development Agency, and Horizons was providing the buses.
‘‘Businesses and institutions are recognising this is important, and I’m delighted by the continuing support for the expo from local companies.’’
Sort It had attracted the country’s main universities and leading training institutions, along with representation from sectors such as health, defence, the Fire Service, transport and logistics and the construction industry.
Students from Longburn Adventist College check out last year’s Sort It careers expo.