The much-anticipated annual NZMA Careers Expo was held recently (13 September), at the Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau. It was the largest in the event’s five year history with more than 100 employers on site for thousands of students to help define their careers.
NZMA are focused on providing their students with work ready skills in hospitality, cookery, construction, retail, business, health and early childhood. A dedicated NZMA Careers team assists students with resumes and interview skills, showing that the NZMA Careers Expo is another opportunity to connect students directly with employers.
With a 9% year-on-year increase in tourism and hospitality jobs recorded in Auckland recently, many employers were actively interviewing and offering jobs on-the-spot to students which could lead to permanent employment.
Accor Hotels attends the NZMA Careers Expo every year, and according to their Talent and Culture Coordinator, Kayla Ludlow it’s the ideal way to meet with lots of different candidates in one place.
“Today we are looking for guest service agents, maintenance technicians and room attendants,” says Kayla. “We are also keeping an eye out for anyone who we think might be good, even if we don’t have a specific position in mind. We have lots of different properties so can pass on student details to other hotels within our group.
The NZMA students we are seeing today are passionate about working in the hospitality industry, they are not just looking for a job. A lot of them have quite good experience too, which is what we look for when we are hiring.”
First timers to the Expo was The Riverhead, New Zealand’s oldest riverside tavern. Their Administration Manager Juanita Taylor was on the hunt for hospitality stars – and she says she found plenty.
“We have talked to a lot of students today. So far I have been given 20 to 30 CV’s, and of those, I’d say probably about ten of them are stars. We have two or three front of house and two or three kitchen apprenticeships on offer, plus we are looking to recruit staff for our busy summer season. For us it’s about having the right attitude. We want people who are bright, bubbly and motivated.”
The hospitality industry isn’t the only sector crying out for skilled staff. Construction workers are also in hot demand, and many construction and trades employers were on hand to tap into Auckland’s limited pool of talent.
Simon Faga, Work Broker for CBD Jobs and Skills Hub, was keen to attend this year’s NZMA Careers Expo having previously employed some top-notch NZMA construction graduates.
“The candidates that we have met today have been really great. We have placed quite a few NZMA graduates in the past which is why we wanted to come here today and really grow our presence. NZMA trades students are getting the right training for the industry. They are graduating with their Level 3 and 4 theory, some work experience and the right attitude – they are graduating with the skills our industry wants.”
The NZMA Careers Expo had close to 110 companies representing New Zealand’s top industry employers, including all the big hotel chains, numerous restaurants, trades, early childhood education, health, retail, contact centres and construction industry.
Guest speakers representing employers also inspired students and informed them of what potential employers had to offer. There were lots of opportunities for students to secure work experience, internships plus part-time and full-time roles in their chosen industry.
To gain work ready skills, and be an in-demand candidate from employers, NZMA offers the pathway to both.