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Inspiring careers in food and fibre

Written by
NZ Young Farmers

The Tertiary Education Commission's careers initiative Inspiring the Future Aotearoa, NZ Young Farmers, GoHort and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have teamed up to help inspire the next generation of food and fibre superstars.

The Inspiring Food and Fibre Futures in Schools programme kicked off yesterday (September 20) in Christchurch to show students the range of exciting work in our food and fibre sector. The programme will also run in Auckland in November.

“The events will connect students with sector role models who’ll talk about their jobs, including what excites and inspires them, and why the food and fibre sectors are so vital,” says Cheyne Gillooly, MPI Director Investment Skills & Performance.

“We have a range of amazing role models who’ve volunteered to speak with the students, and we’re really grateful for their time and support of the programme,” Cheyne Gillooly says.

The programme features a line-up of inspirational role models from across the food and fibre sector. It includes question and answer sessions, interactive discussions and more. The students will hear from role models on how they ended up in the food and fibre sector.

There’s also a practical aspect to the events, with students getting the opportunity to get stuck into farm activities

Inspiring Food and Fibre Futures in Schools is part of Inspiring the Future, an initiative that broadens students’ career horizons by connecting volunteer role models with schools.
“NZ Young Farmers is proud to be leading the Inspiring Food and Fibre Futures in Schools programme,” says Trevor McIntyre, Manager Special Projects at NZ Young Farmers.

“Our young people will play a significant role in the future success of our food and fibre sector. It’s important they’re aware of the breadth of roles available. The experiences and knowledge they gain now will help to guide their subject choices, and even lead them to long and successful careers in the sector,” Trevor McIntyre says.

“The food and fibre sector offers young people an exceptionally wide range of stimulating and rewarding careers,” Horticulture New Zealand Engagement and Extension Manager, Kate Longman adds.

“Initiatives such as Inspiring the Future Aotearoa and GoHort, a Horticulture New Zealand career development programme, are key to encouraging young people into our vibrant, ever-evolving sector,” Kate Longman says.

The Inspiring the Future Aotearoa programme is informed by the 2020 Drawing the Future report that shows most young people have a very limited range of career aspirations. More than half of those surveyed see themselves in only nine jobs.

“There’s a huge range of careers available across Aotearoa, and it can often be confusing for our young people to understand their options,” says Tim Fowler, Chief Executive of the Tertiary Education Commission.

“Inspiring Food and Fibre Futures in Schools will help to broaden their horizons, by showing them first-hand some of the amazing career options available in the food and fibre sector and pathways to get there,” Tim Fowler says.

If you’re interested in being a volunteer role model for an Inspiring the Future event, check out www.inspiringthefuture.org.nz

Written by
NZ Young Farmers

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