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ChCh Careers Advisors eye manufacturing sector


Christchurch Careers Advisors and Transition Teachers are about to get first-hand experience of some of the many career and personal development options that the manufacturing sector offers.

Next Thursday, 17 October, the Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association will take these teachers to some leading Christchurch manufacturing companies so they can see for themselves how competitive advantage is built around people and the development opportunities this provides.

“The CMA recognises the need to build the image of manufacturing in the wider community. Increasingly growth in this sector drives growth in the economy,” explained John Walley, CEO of the Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association. “The availability of the right staff is a vital component of future development. The image portrayed of the opportunities available must be accurate – we have moved on somewhat from the Dickensian “dark satanic mills” and the new image needs to shine through. Manufacturing is a desirable immediate job option or longer term target for anyone entering the workforce.”

Entry can be at different levels and school leavers, tradespeople and graduates all can enjoy opportunities for life-long learning. The teachers will see that school leavers who become apprentices and earn while they learn, and others entering with little or nothing from the school system go on to develop highly specific skills or even management careers in a different environment. New qualification frameworks enable skills transfer from one workplace to another.

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Manufacturing is about applying knowledge and technology in many ways, matching R&D, design, production sales & marketing to the real needs of customers. It accounts for about 22% of the gross regional product, around 45% of which is exported, and employs just under 17% of the regional workforce. The sector has to make a vital contribution to any national growth strategy.

Teachers will see a range of industries and factories:

Davin Industries Ltd (heavy engineering) Skope Industries Ltd (sheet metal) David Shaw Ltd (furniture) Macpac Wilderness Equipment Ltd (leisure clothing) Talbot Plastics Ltd (plastics) Tait Electronics Ltd (electronics)

“Teachers have the ability to influence pupil choices and we will try show how the manufacturing sector offers some of the best life-long career options,” said John Walley. “Manufacturing can offer good wages and a personal development path for those who choose to grasp opportunities.”

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