Hannah Kelly from Whanganui & Partners has been named as a member of a Regional Skills Leadership Group established to support the changing labour market in the Manawatū-Whanganui region.
The group is one of 15 Regional Skills Leadership Groups in New Zealand, set up by the Government to identify and support better ways of meeting future skills and workforce needs in the region.
Members are representatives from iwi, industry, economic development agencies and government from across the Manawatū-Whanganui region.
They will be supported by a team of data analysts, policy advisors and workforce specialists at the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation.
“The group will identify workforce and skills needs in our region and advise on how to meet these needs,” Kelly said. “Establishing the groups was planned before COVID but the impact to the local labour market has really highlighted the importance of coordination in this area.”
Kelly says that the recommendations of the group will inform Government activities and decisions relating to local employment, such as around welfare and immigration systems. The group will also influence local initiatives that impact the region’s workforce.
“Schools and careers advisors will get clearer information about in-demand skills, employers will get support for attracting school leavers, and training providers will be able to tailor their programmes to meet local labour force and skills needs. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a pipeline that benefits both local workers and employers.”
The Manawatū-Whanganui Group will be chaired by Ruma Karaitiana who is also Chair of Rangitāne o Manawatū Kaitiaki Limited and Rangitāne o Manawatū Investment Trust.
“Initially, we will be the eyes and the ears on the ground”, said Ruma Karaitiana.
“The Manawatū-Whanganui region has lower labour force participation and employment rates than the national average. As we are transitioning from emergency management to longer-term recovery efforts, this group will work to get our region the best support possible.”
The 15 Regional Skills Leadership Groups are initially set up on an interim, one-year basis with a swift appointment process, and a mandate to support the immediate response to the regional labour market impacts and disruption arising from COVID-19.
In the longer term, the groups will develop Regional Workforce Plans, which project labour supply needs, to ensure the regions have the right skills and workforce planning to seize local economic opportunities.
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