Careers Day at Northland Field Days

A select group of Northland secondary school students will be able to get a hands-on experience of the infrastructure, quarrying, forestry and agriculture industries at the Northland Field Days this year.

Careers Day at Northland Field Days
Alistair McIntyre

Thirty-two high schools students from the Kaipara, Whangarei, Lower far-North and Rodney Districts will learn the ins and outs of operating diggers, trucks and construction equipment as part of a drive to increase the awareness of the professional career paths offered within these industries.

Alistair McIntyre, author of the children's book Doug the Digger and founder of the Youth into Industry initiative, says he wanted to give Northland school leavers a look into potential career options.

"Students are given an opportunity to work alongside industry representatives in a safe, supportive worksite environment to gain knowledge that helps them make informed decisions on their future careers and what they need to do to achieve their personal goals."

The event will be held on the Kaipara Vintage Machinery Club site at the Northland Field Days on Thursday 26 February, with McIntyre calling it a truly collaborative experience for everyone involved.

He floated the idea with the Kaipara Vintage Machinery Club at the end of the 2014 Field Days, at a wrap-up barbeque, where it was strongly welcomed by all members.

McIntyre and the club patron, Bruce Galloway, then approached the Northland Field Days committee about the potential of hosting a careers open day at their 2015 event, quoting a similar careers day held at Auckland's MOTAT (Museum Of Transport and Technology) in 2014, which Alistair says was extremely successful.

"Thirty one eager students turned up who were so keen they ignored several rain showers to carry on with activities."

Northland Field Days' president, Lew Duggan, says the committee jumped in almost immediately, as it felt the day would be an excellent way to get Northland's youth involved in some of the region's fastest growing industries.

"We offer Northland's youth scholarships to study agriculture, therefore the Youth into Industry initiative was a perfect fit for us," he said. "We are really looking forward to seeing some of the area's brightest students at the Northland Field Days learning about New Zealand's most exciting and essential industries."

The Kaipara Vintage Machinery Club won't only offer space but club members will assist as tutors as well as being involved in various other supportive roles.

Students will learn lessons in eight categories including health and safety compliance, workplace safety awareness, weights and measures, vehicle safety compliances as well as operating mini excavators, and small plant and equipment.

McIntyre says each category consists of two activities with industry representatives sharing their knowledge about their specific areas of expertise and helping students complete associated paperwork.

For more information please contact Alistair McIntyre on 021 041 4227 or email doug@ (without the space).

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