It is estimated the industry will need another 2,000 permanent employees and 4,000 seasonal employees within the next few years. This future growth is dependent on the ability to attract and retain young people who are highly skilled and enthusiastic and develop them to become our industry’s future leaders.

Cultivate Your Career


The best way for students to hone their future career goals is by experiencing the industry first-hand. This idea is the key driver for Cultivate Your Career event, which introduces industry professionals to secondary school students, exposing them to the skills they need to transition from school into horticulture employment.

This annual event is coordinated by NZKGI as part of its mission to attract, develop and inspire young people within the Bay of Plenty’s horticulture industry.

Cultivate Your Career is a day where Year 11, 12 and 13 students engage in business, science and horticultural related lessons. Students are brought together from different schools to participate in a series of fascinating and insightful modules presented by industry representatives on subjects ranging on anything from biosecurity, to corporate social responsibility or technology. Students are then tasked with completing an activity relating to the module, with the results marked for an interschool competition.

The 2016 event, which runs parallel to the Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower Competition, attracted 224 students from returning schools from the Western Bay of Plenty, and drew new schools from the Eastern Bay and Waikato regions. The participating organisations who presented to students included Zespri, Plant and Food Research, Comvita, University of Waikato and Kiwifruit Vine Health.

Cultivate your career

Cultivate your career

A huge ‘THANK YOU’ for yesterday. What a mammoth effort that must have been to organise! I was impressed with the attention to detail right down to heating in the activity tents. The activities were great too with plenty of variety to add interest. I enjoyed watching students trying something new and their reactions to it

– Katikati College

For more information on Cultivate Your Career, visit the BOP Young Fruit Grower website. 

If you would like to take part in the 2017 event you can email Renee Fritchley or contact
NZKGI on 07 5747139.