Students recognised for promoting primary sector careers

  • Nathan Guy
Primary Industries

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has congratulated a group of school students from Whangarei for their work promoting the primary industries to their peers.

The Huanui College students from Whangarei were this year’s winners of the Enterprising Primary Industries Careers (EPIC) Challenge, with their winning entry “Bee in the Scene” encouraging students to consider a career in the apiculture industry.

Co-sponsored by DairyNZ and run by the Young Enterprise Trust, the EPIC Challenge was launched this year to attract students to the diverse range of careers in the primary sector. It requires year ten students to identify different careers within the primary industries and develop a marketing strategy to promote them to their classmates.

“The Challenge is all about showcasing the exciting range of career opportunities in the primary industries,” says Mr Guy.

“Many students don’t realise that working in the primary industries goes beyond the farm and covers a whole range of careers – from robotics, chemical engineering, food science, genetics and policy, right through to marketing our products internationally.

“The winning entry highlighted the variety of careers within the apiculture industry, from bee keeping, to microbiology and biochemistry.

“The four students identified their target audience and developed a creative, modern marketing campaign – which included brochures, advertising, social media, and interviews with those working in the industry.”

121 entries from 117 schools across the country were received for the EPIC challenge.

“Coincidentally, Huanui College also came first in the Dairy category of the competition, with their winning entry created to show students the many and varied careers in New Zealand’s dairy industry.

“The primary industries are the backbone of our economy, and to sustain their success and increase value, we need to invest in our most valuable asset – our people,” says Mr Guy.

“If we’re to meet our goal of doubling the value of primary sector exports by 2025, we need an additional 50,000 workers, with over half of these needing a Tertiary or Level 4 qualification.

“The EPIC challenge is just one of a whole raft of initiatives to attract the best and brightest to our sector.”