He Tirohanga Whakamuri ki 2022 | Looking back at the 2022 Regional Workforce Plan

The 2022 Canterbury Regional Workforce Plan put the spotlight on 4 important areas of our labour market:

  1. Rangatahi (demographic group)
  2. Healthcare and Social Assistance (mental health focus)
  3. Digital Technology
  4. Manufacturing

The plan identified the key issues currently facing these 4 areas and included several actions to contribute to the realisation of our regional labour market aspirations.

Alongside actions for these 4 areas, we identified region-wide cross-cutting issues and actions that were common across a range of sectors and demographics in the region.

We provide 6-monthly updates on progress against our actions on the Canterbury RSLG website.

Key activity and highlights

Some significant highlights from the last 12 months have included:

Pathways Leadership Breakfast

In March 2023 we partnered with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development, Connected.govt.nz and ChristchurchNZ to organise and host a Pathways Leadership Breakfast at the Christchurch Town Hall. The event brought together leaders from both schools and industry to identify and discuss opportunities on how to better connect. The event had several speakers and presentations on topics including; National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) pilot programmes in the region, local business engagement with schools, and a senior secondary school student’s own story about engaging with career support systems and advice.

This event had strong links to our 2022 actions around training pathways and career development support and it also helped initiate better connections between schools and businesses within the region. Due to the success of this breakfast, it is anticipated that similar events will be held in other parts of Canterbury in the future.

Techweek 2023 workshop

We partnered with Canterbury Tech to deliver a Techweek 2023 event in May 2023. The event brought together tech industry, training providers and organisations with an interest in this space and facilitated regional workforce discussion that helped support training providers gain insights into the specific needs of tech sector employers. The event also provided a platform to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by training providers and gain a shared understanding of the current and future tech workforce requirements.

This event was linked to a number of our 2022 actions and in particular, served to enable greater engagement between employers and training providers, aiding their ability to influence future training provision.

Collaboration with Hanga-Aro-Rau and a local manufacturing company

We have been working with Workforce Development Council, Hanga-Aro-Rau, and a local manufacturing company on the development of an upskilling programme in the resource management sector. This was in response to our manufacturing sector workshops held during our engagement for the 2022 RWP and seeks to help provide different ways people could enter and advance within the industry.

If it is successful, the modules will be used to adapt existing industry qualifications and/or create new ones for employees, which could then be shared as a new learning pathway across the sector.

Regional immigration connections

We continue to engage with key parties to develop a regional framework for informing and influencing immigration policy settings for the benefit of Canterbury’s labour market and economic performance.

As part of this work we have met with Immigration NZ (INZ) policy staff to better understand current migration settings and the work that is underway; contributed to work on the Government Policy Statement on immigration; worked with ChristchurchNZ on key messaging to central government; and, partnered with the Canterbury Mayoral Forum to advocate for settings that enable Canterbury to create a more productive and resilient economy. 

Other key areas of activity against our actions from the last 12 months, grouped by aspiration, include:

Aspiration 1

The workforce has the right skills and capability to support Canterbury’s current and future labour market demands. The RSLG:

  • Worked with local partners to determine a regional position to inform migration decisions made at central government level.
  • Established strong and productive connections with Workforce Development Councils, Industry Transformation Plans, Tertiary Education Commission and Te Pūkenga.
  • Engaged with industry and industry bodies on attraction initiatives that the RSLG can support.
  • Engaged with industry on programmes currently underway seeking to change sector perceptions to encourage more people into their industries.
  • Reviewed NCEA data to identify and understand issues on achievement by sub-region, gender, ethnicity and other relevant factors.
  • Produced quarterly Local Insights Reports (LIRs), providing labour market insights from across the region. A new communications platform is being utilised to widely share LIRs in an accessible way.

Aspiration 2

There is equitable access to the support needed to grow and navigate within the labour market in all stages of a working life. The RSLG:

  • Undertook development work on an upskilling pilot programme with local businesses.
  • Worked regionally to understand training needs and how they are different by sub-region etc.
  • Engaged with Hanga Aro Rau to explore the different training pathways available and how suitable they are.
  • Explored creation of an industry specific advisory group to be a conduit for training providers to get sector input for future training provision.
  • Had discussions with local schools on National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) Objective 4 (Future of learning and work) and its implementation.
  • Engaged with key stakeholders and partners to understand the work underway to better support rangatahi Māori who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) and connect them with support services (Te Whai Mahi Māori).

Aspiration 3

All workplaces are worker-friendly, safe, and inclusive, and support both employees and employers to thrive. The RSLG:

  • Undertook research on the different diversity programmes and opportunities available in Canterbury.
  • Engaged with Diversity Works and had them present at an RSLG hui, enhancing our understanding of how we can best work with them and access national and local resources.
  • Engaged with the living wage accreditation group on what makes a good employer.
  • Researched what is available locally and nationally to showcase good workplace practices with particular interest in evidence-based models.
  • Organised and facilitated a rangatahi focus group to better understand what issues are a priority for them.
  • Reached out to the manufacturing sector regarding some programs currently underway - in particular for women, Māori and pacific peoples.

For a comprehensive overview of our progress, visit: Canterbury Regional Skills Leadership Group