Explore, plan, connect, succeed – Career Connect


Introducing… Career Connect — a new online resource hub to support international secondary school students to pursue tertiary education and employment opportunities in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.

Career Connect will provide information, support, and online resources so students can explore how they can find success in the regions through further study or employment.

The team at Education Tauranga and partners Te Waka and Rotorua NZ are facilitating the hub’s creation.

The hub will help encourage pathways to tertiary education and employment for the international students in our regions. Having more graduates live and work in our regions helps:

  • Address skill shortages
  • Increase spending
  • Harness skills, talent and knowledge for ongoing sustainable development
  • Promote global citizenship and diversity for our regions
  • Support the alignment of tertiary education providers with our needs and the needs in key sectors.

Priority One General Manager – Workforce and Policy, Greg Simmonds, says Career Connect is a fantastic opportunity to showcase pathways from education to employment, including the wider benefits of studying locally.

“We have an incredible opportunity here to entice international students to stay in our regions,” he says.

“Growth within the regions is expected to accelerate in the next few decades. To meet this demand, we need to increase our talent pool of well-educated and well-trained people who are passionate about our region.”

Career Connect will launch in the second half of 2022. Once the hub is live, secondary schools can use the tool to showcase the exciting range of opportunities right here in their backyard.

We will provide support information to schools and advisors to ensure you and your students get the most out of it.

What’s coming next?

We’re excited to share that we’re now in the development stage of the hub.

Our next steps will be talking to international students to hear more about their experiences in our regions, bringing our stories to life.

Filming will take place next month, and we can’t wait to share the results with you.

Who are we?

We want to introduce some of the key members of our team as we go through this journey with you.

Melissa Gillingham (pictured right) is the Regional Relationship Manager for Education Tauranga and works across the Bay of Plenty, supporting education providers who enrol international students. She works alongside Regional Pathways Co-ordinator, Caroline Stevenson.

“Providing a comprehensive international student journey plan is becoming increasingly important. This allows students and their parents to see the opportunities that exist in the regions, from the school sector, into the tertiary sector and through to employment,” she says.

“Excellent existing relationships across all education sectors within our region has allowed us to hit the ground running, creating, delivering and promoting our international student journey plan. Career Connect aims to be the platform to support this.

“It’s great to see a resource coming together that highlights all the academic and career pathways our regions have to offer.”

You can contact Melissa via melissa.gillingham@educationtauranga.co.nz or 021 724 272.