Regional Skills Leadership Groups

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

The Skills Leadership Groups were formed in June 2020 to 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.

Regionally based and regionally led

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

Members are regional industry leaders, economic development agencies, and iwi, worker and government representatives, who will contribute their knowledge and local expertise.

These are the regions:

Eyes and ears on the ground

The groups are the eyes and the ears on the ground, providing a current and forward view of the skills and labour needs of the region’s industries and employers.

Initially, the groups have been set up on and 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 will project labour supply needs, to ensure the regions have the right skills and workforce planning to seize local economic opportunities.

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.

Background documents

Minister's announcement for Skills Leadership launch

Ministers' September 2019 announcement on Regional Skills Leadership Groups(external link)

Cabinet Paper: Establishing Regional Skills Leadership Groups [PDF, 434 KB]

Cabinet Minute: Establishing Regional Skills Leadership Groups [PDF, 186 KB]

Related work

You may also be interested in:

Reform of Vocational Education(external link)

Changes to temporary work visas(external link)

Last updated: 12 November 2020