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Sort It Careers Expo - Connecting business and talent

The Sort It Careers Expo returns in 2019 for its sixth, largest and most successful year.

The Sort It Careers Expo is New Zealand’s largest regional expo and is delivered annually by the Central Economic Development Agency as a key engagement platform for employers and education providers to connect with future talent.

It is taking place on Thursday 16 May at the B&M Centre - Arena 4, Central Energy Trust Arena. There are two sessions: 9.30am - 3.30pm and 6pm - 8pm and entry is free.

More than 75 exhibitors – the highest number ever and what makes the expo the largest outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch – are a mixture of local and national businesses, industry bodies, and training and education providers. New exhibitors for 2019 include Toyota New Zealand, GrowingNZ, Central Demolition, Gough Group, Master Electricians, Advantage, Repco and TeachNZ

As Manawatu’s economic development agency, CEDA is tasked with attracting and retaining talent to Manawatu. The purpose of a careers expo, rather than a job fair, is to showcase industry, training and educational pathways to students, graduates, those reassessing their career or looking to retrain, across the greater Manawatu-Whanganui region.

“Our aim is to grow a skilled workforce for Manawatu and better utilise the existing labour market to meet the needs of employers and skills gaps that our region is experiencing,” says CEDA’s Chief Executive Linda Stewart.

“Labour shortages and skills gaps are businesses’ biggest barriers to growth and with more than $3.5 billion worth of infrastructure and property investment planned or already underway, this is only going to amplify this challenge.

“In light of this, it is imperative that businesses and industries who are experiencing labour shortages are proactive in raising awareness of the opportunities that exist in their field, from career progression, to salary bands and what a role encompasses. The Sort It Careers Expo provides a platform for them to do this.”

More than 3000 high school students from 23 secondary schools in the wider region will attend the day session, which is also open to the general public. The expo will reopen from 6pm - 8pm for an evening session.

“The evening session is also an opportunity for those who work to visit the expo after hours and discuss the diverse employment options and training offerings that are available to help them plan their next career move,” says CEDA’s Event Coordinator Julia Giles, who is in her third year of managing the Sort It Careers Expo.

“The future of work is changing rapidly; younger generations increasingly have different expectations of workplaces and they want to see their values reflected in company and industry cultures. While industries and companies face labour and skills shortages, the onus is really on them to engage with younger generations and promote their industries for future growth,” says Giles.

Sort It Careers Expo was a finalist in the 2018 NZ Event Association Awards as Best Local Government Event and CEDA would like to sincerely thank the expo’s sponsors for their support: Palmerston North City Council, Manawatu District Council, Horizons Regional Council, Higgins and Beca.

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