Filling labour shortages, speed-dating style

Eight industry training organisations have joined forces with the Ministry of Education to bring back Got a Trade? Got it Made! SpeedMeet over August and September in 12 locations.

SpeedMeet gives secondary school students a unique opportunity to connect with potential employers. And SpeedMeet can’t come fast enough with some employers facing labour shortages due to the impacts of COVID-19.

SpeedMeet provides an interview situation similar to speed-dating, where students spend six minutes with employers from a range of trades and service industries. At the end of each meeting, if both student and employer want to see each other again, it’s a match, with contact details shared for another meeting.

“In order to engage with industry training – or on-the-job training – people need to be employed full-time, so it’s a no-brainer to support the connecting of jobseekers and employers,” says SpeedMeet founder Rachael Dippie from MITO, who developed the concept in 2015.

“SpeedMeet is an active way to connect secondary school students and other jobseekers looking for hands-on work to meet directly with employers looking for new talent.”

Kelly Henshaw of Scania New Zealand is focused on bringing that new talent into their industry via apprentice training. With a shortage of skilled technicians, they’ll attend all SpeedMeet locations.

“We’re excited to get in front of as many candidates as possible to talk not only about how we build trucks but careers as well for our expanding Kiwi team. In the past we’ve had great success with SpeedMeet. They are perfect for engaging with potential new employees.”

The Ministry of Education supports raising the awareness of opportunities in vocational pathways for young people and facilitating connection to employers. “From the events we have been supporting over the past 18 months, we know that over 90% of young people that attended events like these now feel more prepared with the skills necessary to be successful in further education or employment,” says Patrick McKibbin, Business and Employer Liaison Manager at Ministry of Education.

Got a Trade? Got it Made! SpeedMeet is taking place in 12 locations, from Whangarei to Queenstown, over August and September. The industries attending include automotive, electrical, engineering, hair and beauty, hospitality, retail, tourism, textile fabrication and much more.

Employers and schools can register at