Students get shown inside region's food processing and manufacturing plants
Neko Prentice could see himself working at McCain.
The Opihi College 17-year-old was one of about 90 secondary school students from South Canterbury who visited sites throughout the region on Thursday as part of a sector day for the Food Processing and Manufacturing Business Connection Group which has been initiated by Aoraki Development and Ara Institute of Canterbury.
It was the second sector day organised by the group and the recently launched Youth Transition Initiative which aims to connect businesses and industry with schools, teachers, students and their parents or guardians, Aoraki Development operations manager Di Hay said.
Other plants visited were Fonterra, DB, Talley's and Sanford.
READ MORE: SC educators visit industry leaders
Hay said the sector day also came after the announcement, earlier this week, about the launch of the Introduction to Food Processing Industry programme being offered by Ara.
It will be run as a dual pathways programme where students spend four days each week at school, completing their NCEA studies and one day per week attending Ara completing the Level 2 course.
For Neko the day had been "very interesting".
Neko was part of a party of eight students who took a tour through McCain's Washdyke factory in the morning.
"I didn't know McCain did so much," Neko said.
"The cool thing about coming here is you can start somewhere and work your way up."
His comments were backed up by Timaru Girls' High School and Opihi College students Summer Scott, 16, and Ebony Keeley, 15.
"I really didn't know there would be so many options to coming to work at McCain," Summer said.
McCain production manager Sonny Quilliam said there were many career opportunities at McCain.
Hay said the food processing and manufacturing sector is the largest employer group in the district, accounting for nearly 5000 of its 25,000 local workforce.
Aoraki Development is working with four business connection groups: transport and logistics, food processors and manufacturers, professionals – legal, accounting, education, health and construction and trades.
- The Timaru Herald