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Opportunities arise at the CAN DO Business, Careers and Volunteers Expo

09 August 2017

Photo: Mayor Sandra (left) with Thames Community Board Chair, Diane Connors (right) welcoming all to the expo this morning.

Photo: Mayor Sandra (left) with Thames Community Board Chair, Diane Connors (right) welcoming all to the expo this morning.

CANDO Expo 2017The Thames Civic Centre was buzzing today with members of the community, students, businesses and volunteers from across our district attending the CAN DO (Coromandel Action Network District Owned) Business, Careers and Volunteers Expo.

With 30 volunteer organisations and 30 local businesses, the expo provided the opportunity for people to meet potential employers and training organisations who were showcasing career paths and employment opportunities in our region.

CANDO EXPO"Our primary focus is youth, however today we have had various members of the community including those affected by the A&G price closure," says Shaun Hayes, CAN DO Chair.

"What we are trying to do is get our local businesses to showcase what industry they fit into and the career path they can offer," says Mr Hayes.

"It has been great to see so many youth attend the expo today", says Sheryll Fitzpatrick, Manager of the Thames Community Centre.

"We are currently working with a number of people previously employed with A and G Price to update their CVs, as well as assisting with young people and those who need to get their driver's licence. By getting their licence this opens up opportunities and options for employment," says Ms Fitzpatrick.

The Thames Community Centre are your go-to people if you have any questions, need support or if you think you could offer work experience after school, during the weekends, or over the holiday period. Please contact Sheryll Fitzpartick to make an appointment by calling in to the Thames Community Centre, 609 Mackay Street, phone: 07 868 9797 or email:

"This is really exciting for me," says Linnea McDonald, a teacher at Thames High School. "Watching certain students interact with local business owners who I can see would be a perfect fit for some of the opportunities on offer here," says Ms McDonald.  "I don't think they would come to something like this on their own, so rather than us as teachers or their parents giving career advice, I can see by talking to real people who do this work every day has been a wonderful opportunity for our students," says Ms McDonald.

Jason Tomsett from JCD Engineering Jason Tomsett from JCD Engineering (pictured right) spoke to various students about what their industry has to offer. "School tends to have a focus on the academic aspects whereas today there were a variety of opportunities on offer such as trades which are more hands-on and a better fit for some. We are a company built in Thames and we continue to offer a diverse set of skills to 25 staff and 3 apprentices," says Mr Tomsett.

Marlene Perry, our Council's Thames Community Development Officer adds: "This year we have purposely included younger people to promote the businesses or volunteer organisations they work at to share their experiences with our youth. It has been a great opportunity for youth, the community and businesses to eyeball each other and see we don't have to compete for staff, Thames is a super0friendly town employability wise," says Ms Perry.

"Everyone needs a starting point and work experience to get a job down the track. For our young people this creates connections for them in the community so if they choose to go to university, when they gravitate back to their home town they will have a network from their work experience," says Ms Perry.

"Overall it has been a great day with lots of interactive activities and something for everyone. Thank you to everyone involved, we look forward to next year's expo," says Mr Hayes.

For more information on what CAN DO has to offer click here or see