Bright skies and bright futures abounded as Taree turned on a sunny midwinter's day for the staging of the inaurgural Mid Coast CareerQuip 2022.
Held in and around Fotheringham Park, Taree University Campus and the old Mid Coast Council building, the event was open to students and members of the public alike.
The all-day event on Thursday, July 28 featured more than 50 exhibitors from private companies, government agencies, tertiary institutions and training organisations, each of them providing visitors with a wealth of information.
With many organisations offering traineeships, the job-fair was an ideal opportunity for students looking ahead to establishing career paths, with prospective employers marketing their organisations as an avenue to develop talent and skills.
We want to bring on as many apprenticeships and traineeships as we can and really support the local area and these kids coming through- Sam McGuire, JR Richards
Sam McGuire, who works for waste management company JR Richards, was keen to pass on the message to students that her employer offered a variety of roles, far beyond just driving garbage trucks.
"We're trying to create a profile. We want to bring on as many apprenticeships and traineeships as we can and really support the local area and these kids coming through," she said.
"We'd like as many heavy vehicle mechanic apprentices as we can possibly get, boilermakers, fitters and. for office space roles, we'll be putting people into traineeships for certificate three in business administration.
"The different careers you can have with us, is far more than garbage truck driving. There's sales, we've got marketing, we've payroll, we've got human resources like I do," she said.
An apparent skills shortage is driving employers to more proactively recruit an emerging workforce through initiatives such as CareerQuip. However, it is not only employers advertising themselves, with many training organisations present on the day seeking to entice the next batch of school leavers into tertiary education.
Dave Harrison is the equine online coordinator at Taree TAFE and was on hand providing information on TAFE's training courses.
"We're glad we came along. There's been plenty of students coming through showing plenty of interest in our courses," Dave said.
"We've got a bit of animal studies, horticulture, conservation, land management, agriculture and obviously our equine courses.
"I think it's great we can stand out here and make people aware of what we're doing.
"It's good for us to be out here and in people's faces and be able to explain it a lot better in detail and sort of give the students - or potential students - an idea of what's happening in the industry and what we do and what we offer in our courses, and how it will help them build those skills," Dave said.
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