Building connections between students, employers, and employment services was the name of the game at UCOL’s recent Employment Expo.
The second annual UCOL Employment Expo brought 28 businesses, recruitment agencies, government departments, and business start-up support networks to the Manawatū campus.
Hundreds of students flocked to the main Atrium to meet the exhibitors and find out how to get a foot in the door in industries such as health, business, information technology, beauty, and creative media.
There were also organisations that specialise in volunteer work and disability support attending.
Across the road in UCOL’s trades centre, trades students took part in an employer speed dating event, organized in collaboration with Central Skills Hub. Groups of students would sit down and talk to employers and recruiters for seven minutes before moving onto the next table.
UCOL Employability Coordinator Ty Weeks says the purpose of the expo was to help students engage with recruitment agencies and employers in their chosen industry. They could get career advice and find out about the job opportunities available while they study.
“In the past couple of years, the Employment Expo has been a great opportunity for organisations to come into UCOL to meet our students and see firsthand the value that they can bring to the workforce.”
Workbridge Employment Consultant Samantha Kelly says the expo was a great chance to meet students, UCOL staff, and employers her organisation can collaborate with in the future.
“We get to know what they all do and they get to know what we do. It’s about working together to find and create opportunities. A lot of lecturers wanted to find out how we can link in with their students.”
Workbridge works with employers and people with disabilities or long-term injuries/illnesses to find ways to maximise their skills for the workplace.
Oliver Sapsford of Onestaff says events like UCOL’s Employment Expo are great opportunities for both parties as it gives us a chance to offer support and guidance to student entering the work force.
“We are passionate about supporting students and potentially assisting them into opportunities and careers with our clients. We want to put the right people in the right jobs, so it’s great to be able to come here and meet a vast array of people with different skillsets.”
Jordy Lawrence, Marketing Coordinatorat the National Driver Training Centre, said the expo allowed her organisation to gain a better understanding of what students want from them and how they can generate outcomes for students.
“It was extremely interesting to learn about the diverse range of driver licensing students were looking for, from Class 1 to forklift and truck licensing. Our most positive take-away from the expo was having the opportunity to engage with students face to face.”