A group of Year 12 and 13 students has been spending time at the co-operative’s Pahiatua site, where they trained for and sat their forklift licences. Another student, Christian Flutie, has been gaining weekly work experience in administration with the site administration team, Liz Murch and Tracey Lett.

“We’re just so thrilled to have these young people on board with us. We’re one of the largest employers in the community, so what better place for them to come and gain hands on experience in the workforce?” Tracey said.

Tracey agreed to open the doors to the school’s Gateway coordinator to help students gain their licences, and for Christian to gain experience in administration.

“When Deana the Gateway co-ordinator approached us we were quick to find a way to help. It’s great to show these young adults what we do here, and the possibilities they have for work – but it’s also rewarding for our team to share their skills and mentor the younger generation,” said Tracey.

The team has enjoyed working with the students so much they’ve recruited one of them for on-going work experience. Year 12 student Tory Daley now has his OSH forklift certification and said coming to work is making him feel much more mature.

“I really like mixing with working people, and finding out what they do, where they started out and how long they’ve worked here,” he said.

Tory works in the distribution centre one day a week following induction and health and safety training. Next he and the other students can go on to sit the full ‘F’ endorsement, which means they can drive the forklifts on public roads. The school said the endorsement will be a good addition to their CVs and greatly improve employment prospects.

Fonterra Pahiatua is one of many sites working with schools to help students gain new skills and work experience.

Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay distribution manager Corey Hartley said he and his team are really excited to be working with the students.

“It’s awesome to see our guys get behind the kids and take them under their wings. We can relate to being in their shoes, so it’s great to introduce them to new exciting things in the big wide world.

“It’s also rewarding because the students get excited by what they see.

“We’re opening their eyes to this great New Zealand industry – not just showing them a distribution centre, but the whole Fonterra structure, the industry as a whole and the entire process of manufacturing,” said Corey.

“Many young people don’t get to see anything like this – it’s wonderful for them to get an insight into the biggest company in New Zealand,” Mr Hartley said.

Source: Hawkes Bay Today


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