Thousands flock to expo
Recruitment for new jobs, options for training, volunteering and earning while learning were among the career pathways showcased at Palmerston North's first Sort It expo at Arena Manawatu.
More than 2000 people, including jobseekers, school pupils, school leavers, migrants and people wanting to rejoin the work force visited the one-day expo where 64 employers, trainers and community groups put on displays.
Managed by Destination Manawatu and supported by a range of sponsors, the expo grew out of last year's successful Where's My Job expo in Feilding, and has been driven by city councillor Adrian Broad.
His concern was youth unemployment, and he hoped that providing an opportunity for people to connect with businesses wanting to hire and agencies providing advice on how to plan for a career would help.
Broad said the number of exhibitors had exceeded expectations, and his remaining concern at the start of the day was whether people would show up.
"But there were people queuing up to get in. That was a very satisfying moment.
"We had a huge start, with thousands of people coming through."
New Zealand Post used the expo to help recruit people to up to 90 new jobs at its Manawatu Mail Centre from the beginning of next year.
Centre manager Rob Fryer said there had been a steady stream of people of all ages genuinely applying, who had come to the expo to find out as much as possible about the opportunity.
Training organisations, such as G and H Training, promoted courses that had a proven record of preparing pupils for apprenticeships, in this case in construction and carpentry.
Hotel Coachman showcased opportunities to learn on the job, while several volunteer organisations promoted options to gain experience and skills that would strengthen a CV.
Broad hoped Sort It would become an annual event.