A partnership between Student Job Search (SJS) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) aims to connect seasonal employers to students across New Zealand looking for employment opportunities.

An online marketing campaign, ‘Pick This, Pick That’ will kick off the partnership to connect students to thousands of summer fruit picking roles available across the country between November the March.

With New Zealand summer fruit growers relying on locals to get cherries picked and shipped overseas, and to pick other summer fruit for the domestic market, these roles are more important than ever.

Suzanne Boyd, SJS chief executive officer, says seasonal work is an opportunity for students to gain valuable experience before they graduate, including skills in communication, people management, teamwork and problem-solving.

“This type of work can demonstrate a candidate’s work ethic and reliability – two key attributes for employers looking to hire graduates.”

The partnership with SJS is one of the many ways government is stepping up to help the primary sector through the impacts of COVID-19, says Cheyne Gillooly, director investment, skills and performance at MPI.

“’Pick This, Pick That’ is the first of our targeted campaigns to roll out under the Opportunity Grows Here banner.

“It’s a specifically targeted campaign that will roll out across New Zealand over the coming months to support our summer fruit growers, ensuring our homegrown apricots, nectarines, cherries, peaches and plums are harvested and on our plates for summer,” says Gillooly.

“Our farmers, fishers and growers have been a mainstay for New Zealand through COVID-19 and summer fruit is an important part of this picture.

“We’re thrilled to partner with SJS to utilise that valuable channel to reach our student population.”