Hands-on experience

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SECONDARY school pupils have been given first-hand experience of primary industry workplaces.
A group of 29 pupils visited the Agricentre South vehicle workshop at Lorneville, the Ballance fertiliser plant, Fonterra, Niagara sawmill or the Southland dairy demonstration farm recently.
The visits followed a series of talks from business representatives over the past three weeks reaching more than 800 Year 10-13 pupils in six secondary schools, Southland Youth Futures co-ordinator Jo Barnsdale said.
Southland Youth Futures is a Venture Southland-led project which aims to encourage more young people to take jobs in the primary sector to offset an aging workforce.
The visits enabled pupils to meet professionals in their workplace and hear about the jobs which existed for school leavers and tertiary graduates, Ms Barnsdale said.
‘‘Following the workplace visits, keen students can get practical work experience in the July and September school holidays.’’
Later in the year more visits would be offered at a wider group of businesses including Bremca [switchboards], Farm-Right, Sahin Farms, Horgan Farm Trust, the McNeill group of companies, Alliance Group and HWR Group, she said.
‘‘They are all committed to employing young people and training and developing them, and some businesses have participated in the employer talks as well.’’

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