Students get exclusive insight into horticulture industry
The event “Cultivate Your Career” is taking place for 150 students from 10 Western BOP schools today under the theme of ‘multi-faceted innovation’. In a bid to show the wide range of career opportunities available in horticulture, students are taking a bus tour around Tauranga to visit Robotics Plus, Tūhono Whenua Horticulture and The Port of Tauranga. In addition, students will receive a presentation from Zespri and participate in an activity with Kiwi Leaders.
The tour debunks preconceived ideas of the industry by showing that horticulture offers high-level careers in a range of scientific, technical and commercial areas. “The Bay of Plenty region is home to a multitude of world-class innovative businesses and as an industry, we want to showcase this and the career opportunities available to our young people on their back doorstep”, says Katy McGinity, Chair of Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower Upskilling Inc.
Students are transported from schools in Tauranga, Te Puke, Waihi and Rotorua. Each bus has two industry ambassadors on board who will talk about their own careers in horticulture and answer any questions students may have. Students spend over an hour at each business undertaking practical activities relating to process, product and marketing innovation as well as the specific careers available in these fields.
Horticulture is New Zealand’s fourth largest primary industry with an export revenue increasing steadily each year to a projected $5.4 billion in 2018. Kiwifruit is a strong example of the industry’s growth with a current indirect impact of $1.8 billion in the Bay of Plenty. Kiwifruit production is forecast to double by 2030. To achieve this growth the industry requires skilled talent who can help drive horticulture’s success further. The kiwifruit industry in the Bay of Plenty currently employs 10,762 people which is expected to increase to 25,091 by 2030.
The Cultivate Your Career event will continue on Tuesday, 10 April when students from the Eastern Bay of Plenty will have the opportunity to tour local businesses around Opotiki.
Students from Waihi and Katikati colleges view unmanned ground vehicle with Robotics Plus Owner Dr Alistair Scarfe