Hundreds of jobs are on offer at Marlborough Hiring Day this month, including work in horticulture, viticulture, food processing and sawmill operations.
Job seekers and employers with vacancies are being invited to meet face-to-face at a ‘speed dating’ recruitment day next week.
Marlborough Hiring Day, a Ministry of Social Development (MSD)-organised expo, aims to be the biggest recruitment event ever in the region.
To date, 15 employers had confirmed their attendance at the job expo, on May 13, with more to come.
Marlborough Hiring Day has drawn on the same format established by the Harvest Hiring at Motueka in February and Nelson Hiring Day in April.
Ministry regional commissioner for Nelson-Tasman, Marlborough and the West Coast, Craig Churchill, said the event provided a forum for job placement to happen quickly.
“Discussing work options and exploring opportunities is so much easier when you are face-to-face,” Churchill said.
Staff from the Ministry of Social Development would be on site to provide assistance.
Hundreds of jobs were on offer in the region, including work in horticulture, viticulture, food processing and sawmill operations.
But with border restrictions and major developments on the horizon, a shortage of workers was likely to be one of Marlborough’s biggest challenges this year and next.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had established the Marlborough interim Regional Skills Leadership Group (iRSLG) to explore how best to support the region’s workforce needs post-Covid.
The ministry had two regional staffers working on the ground in Marlborough for the first time, gathering data and engaging with industries.
The Government had also launched a Marlborough page on its new Connected website, with sections on local jobs, business support and training.
Local employers like food processing company Talley’s had plenty of jobs available and would attend Marlborough Hiring Day.
Talley’s human resources co-ordinator Beverley Gemmell said the company had about 60 vacancies with a lot of entry-level roles for food processing positions.
“The majority of our positions are seasonal and can often lead to full-time positions later on. Saying that, it is a year-round work at the moment, so it is quite a secure job to have.
“We offer different hours. Like in our mussel department you can work eight hours, or we offer more flexible hours for parents like 9am to 2pm.
“In our vegetables department we have a 12-hour day, so people can work more hours and make more money,” Gemmell said.
The company was opening a new mussel room at its Blenheim site next week, creating 17 new jobs.
“We have always been reliant on the migrant labour like the rest of the primary industry, so it has been a struggle to recruit with border restrictions and there is just not enough Kiwis here to fill the roles.
“But we are always keen to fill whatever roles we have with Kiwis so if they are there, we will take them,” Gemmell said.
As one of the largest privately-owned companies in the South Island, Talley’s employed close to 1000 full-time staff and an additional 600 staff across the seasons at nine different locations.
Gemmell said a key attraction for new employees was the ability to move up within the company.
Talley’s would have a stand at the Marlborough Hiring Day on May 13. The event would run from 10am to 1pm at the Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000, 15-17 Redwood Street, Blenheim.
Meanwhile, a ‘Catch a Job’ scheme, run out of Nelson Tasman, had extended its offer to people in Blenheim.
The Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) had teamed up with three of New Zealand’s largest fisheries, Sealord, Sanford, and Talleys, to launch a campaign to help fill hundreds of jobs in the seafood industry.
Job seekers could apply for roles through www.catchajob.nz and after filling out a quick application form, would be contacted directly by employers.