Pictured: Jessica Thompson (Community Engagement Coordinator) Workforce Central Dunedin, Andrew Holmes (Construction Director) New Dunedin Hospital Project, and Year 11 students from South Otago High School.
Some 35,000 people visit the longest standing Careers Expo in New Zealand each year, with 5 venues across the country. Dunedin got its chance this week, with schools and job seekers visiting by the bus load. In addition to the event, the Expo provides teachers with valuable resources to educate and inform their students on vocational pathways.
Taking advantage of the opportunity were students eager to talk face-to-face with a wide range of employers, industry, government departments, and training providers. Workforce Central Dunedin were there to talk about the new Dunedin hospital project and the potential career opportunities it provides.
Lilly Campbell, Year 11 student from South Otago High School came along to the Expo because she wanted to see what options were out there for her. “I’m pretty sure I want to go into teaching, and I also really want to help in the community so I’m here to see how I can improve my dream and reach my goals.”
We met so many impressive students, all focused on their futures, and all eager to talk to exhibitors. “I’m really interested in a career in engineering, so that’s why I’m here today,” said Year 12 Queen’s High School student, Shikaia Hoete.
We also met Viola Huch from Pacific Trust Otago, an independent community provider of health, education, and social services to Pacific peoples. Pacific Trust works within a holistic framework to improve the health and wellbeing of the Pasifika community here in Dunedin.
“It’s very important, especially for Pacific individuals, to come and see the opportunities out there, and the work we do ties in with this. Getting people upskilled and supporting them is so important - my oldest person is 70 years old and he just wanted to learn how to speak to his grandkids on social media."
“For so long, many of our people thought the only career option to them was factory work because that’s what their parents did when they came here. I know what that’s like, that was me too. I love that everyone has come along today to see all the wonderful career opportunities available to them."
All those visiting the Expo could draw a picture or write something inspiring to help bring good vibes to someone in hospital with messages such as “you’re amazing”, “keep fighting – you’re so strong”, and “don’t cry because it happened, smile because you made it.”
It was an impressive reminder to each of us about what our hospitals are all about and the students we met today showed you can change the world by just being yourself.
Workforce Central Dunedin is proudly supported through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Provincial Development Unit’s Te Ara Mahi stream. Anyone interested in career opportunities for the New Dunedin Hospital Project can contact Jessica.Thompson@wfcd.co.nz.