Regional Skills Leadership Groups

Independent Regional Skills Leadership Groups actively support our changing labour markets across New Zealand.

The Regional Skills Leadership Groups identify and support better ways of meeting future skills and workforce needs in our regions and cities.​ They are part of a joined-up approach to labour market planning which will see our workforce, education and immigration systems working together to better meet the differing skills needs across the country.

Interim Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs) were formed in June 2020, with an immediate focus on Covid-19 impacts of regional workforce and labour market factors. Permanent, future focused, RSLGs have been established and draw on the work of interim groups. 

Co-Chairs have been appointed for each of the 15 permanent RSLGs, and group membership identification and appointment is now largely finalised, with the few remaining appointments to be advised in the near future.  

Locally based and regionally led

Functioning independently, the groups are locally based and regionally enabled, and supported by a team of data analysts, advisors and workforce specialists at the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

Members of RSLGs include regional industry leaders, economic development agencies, iwi/Māori, worker, community and government representatives, who contribute their knowledge and local expertise.

These are the regions and Co-Chairs:

Making a difference on the ground

The groups develop a common understanding of labour market and skills priorities and what is required to achieve them. In doing this they identify, understand and either address or elevate regional labour market and skills opportunities and barriers.

Insight of regional labour market and skills matters will be gained through strong engagement with regional partners, including industries and employers, iwi/ Māori, community groups and workers.

Regional insights is currently collated and presented through regular Local insight reports — with each group focussing on factors or sectors that are critical for their respective region.

These reports identify labour market opportunities and challenges in each region, and provide a basis for engagement across their region to develop a common understanding of the current state of its labour market. 

The groups will shortly commence the development of Regional Workforce Plans, which will project labour supply needs, to ensure the regions have the right skills and workforce planning to seize local economic opportunities.

In developing Regional Workforce Plans, the groups will link to and coordinate with existing work underway in each region so that they don’t duplicate activity.

Informing Government activities and decisions

Our education, welfare and immigration agencies will act on the groups’ advice to make sure the right skills are developed and available:

  • Education agencies, providers and Workforce Development Councils will know what skills are in demand regionally, and can tailor their programmes so they provide the courses, apprenticeships, pre-employment training, and qualifications for a region’s needs.
  • Our welfare system can ensure that employment initiatives and spending move people into long-term, fulfilling careers.
  • Our immigration system can provide any extra skilled workers needed, while continuing to prioritise jobs for New Zealanders. 

Influencing local initiatives

The groups inform, coordinate and create links with local initiatives that impact their region’s workforce supply:

  • Schools and careers advisors will get clearer information about current and future skills that will be in demand, to support school leavers to make good career decisions.
  • Employers and schools will get support to connect to attract school leavers into local training and jobs that will be needed.
  • Employers can act on the groups’ advice to tackle barriers to employment and productivity growth, by pooling resources and offering attractive job opportunities.
  • Training providers, skills hubs and local economic development initiatives will have the right information to tailor their programmes to meet their region’s labour force and skills needs.

Most recent Local insights reports

Last updated: 13 September 2021