Hei Mahi mā Te Akunga Houhare ā-Rohe | Regional Workforce Plan actions

This updated Regional Workforce Plan builds on the actions we developed in the inaugural plan in 2022. It has put the spotlight on two additional areas that are important to the region – Primary sector and disabled people. These 2 areas will be a particular focus for our targeted actions and outcomes alongside healthcare and social assistance, digital technology, manufacturing, and rangatahi.

The Canterbury RSLG has reviewed and regrouped the RWP actions by our three guiding aspirations. The reorganised actions are now primarily cross-cutting, seeking to address key issues identified as being common across multiple spotlight areas.

The updated actions have been developed following stakeholder and partner engagement throughout 2022 and 2023 and will form the basis of our work programme over the next 12 months.

To be successful, these actions will require a collective, regionally joined-up approach. As an RSLG, we will support the coordination, activation and monitoring of these actions – but we will be looking to key stakeholders and partners across the region to lead the way in implementing them.

Aspiration 1 actions:

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


Desired outcomes

Future of the workforce

Contribute to regional and national policy settings and initiatives that attract and retain the right workforce for Canterbury, supporting the region to thrive and grow.

  • A strategic labour market position has been developed in the region, in partnership with key parties.
  • Sectors have more surety on labour supply and are able to plan and invest accordingly.
  • International students play a strategic part in future labour market opportunities.
  • Regional insights systematically contribute to immigration settings that will support employers and employees in the region to prosper and meet their full potential.
  • The Canterbury ‘brand’ is well-recognised and marketed to a wide range of workers including offshore (returning New Zealanders and migrants) and nationally.

Sector perceptions

Work with stakeholders to promote awareness and alter misperceptions of the spotlight sectors, highlighting their merits, and the breadth and diversity of opportunities available within them.


  • Heightened awareness and appeal of the range of current and future roles across spotlight sectors.
  • Workforces better reflect diversity of people.
  • Targeted career development programmes in schools to promote advanced digital, manufacturing, healthcare and primary sectors as viable career pathways for women.
  • Engage with primary and secondary schools to raise awareness of the contribution by the primary industry to healthy living and a healthy environment.

Manufacturing and primary sector productivity and innovation

Assist and promote the exploration of new learning and upskilling opportunities for the sectors through training pathways, delivery methods and improving access for more current and future employees.

Business development and capability building is enhanced, and leaders are encouraged to explore more innovation and investment.

  • Information is obtained about current recognised learning being utilised in the sector and this information is used to inform new opportunities.
  • Sectors identify new and emerging workforce needs and partner with trainers and education providers to create digital and practical learning solutions
  • There is increased uptake of new recognised learning modules which improve both individual and business outcomes.
  • More businesses are pursuing best practice options to improve productivity and innovation.

Aspiration 2 actions

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


Desired outcomes

Training Pathways and Models are Relevant and Accessible and Support Learners and Employers Needs

Facilitate the development and uptake of alternative learning models for learners and industry. Facilitate enhanced connections between training providers and industry to ensure training courses are relevant, and use applicable tools and methods that will build current worker capability and develop workready graduates. Co-ordinate the collation of information and insights about the wider mental health workforce to understand barriers and enablers to entering and staying in the sector. Utilise this information to inform and support improvements to the training pipeline.

  • There are a variety of pathways into the industry that are relevant to the needs of the learner e.g., bonds, scholarships, community-based training, micro credentials.
  • Apprenticeships and ‘learn while you earn’ options encourage a more diverse workforce.
  • Better ways to recognise skills and prior learnings from other roles.
  • Workforce Development Councils, education providers and government agencies are exploring new ways of designing and delivering programmes.
  • Training providers incorporate more on-the-job experience options into their programmes.
  • Best practice training examples are promoted and shared regionally.
  • Better understanding of where system improvements can support better outcomes for the health sector

Support Rangatahi Māori

Support and explore ways to identify and engage with rangatahi Māori who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) and explore ways to promote available services.

Gain a better understanding of services that are successfully engaging rangatahi Māori on pathways that lead to sustainable high skilled employment.

Support kaupapa that uses a holistic approach in mental health planning for rangatahi, encompassing principles like Te Whare Tapa Whā.

  • Insights about, and promotion of, successful engagement models to improve future service provision and appropriate funding for services.
  • Acknowledgement and promotion of successful models of engagement.
  • Rangatahi Māori are supported into more sustainable highly skilled career pathways.
  • Wellbeing and mental health support services for rangatahi are mana-enhancing, accessible and timely.

Career development support

Ensure the RSLG has a strong overview of regional programmes and initiatives that promote the career development of our rangatahi, and recommend to government and provider initiatives to:

  • Continually improve and adapt programmes so they are targeted towards the diverse needs of our rangatahi.
  • Facilitate the increased visibility of, and access to, a range of career and education pathways. 
  • Assist in connecting community and whānau to career support schemes.
  • Support and promote the mahi of CATE and CDANZ.
  • Utilise Connected.govt.nz platform to showcase different career pathways to increase the career exposure to Rangatahi. 

Support ongoing career development support for rangatahi after leaving high school.

Promote forums where the voice of rangatahi contributes to career, workplace and workforce redesign conversations to help build workplace environments where they feel included, supported and safe.

  • Canterbury RSLG, the Ministry of Education and ChristchurchNZ have completed an environmental scan of existing career pathway services available in Canterbury, forming the evidence basis to identify gaps.
  • Schools are supported to provide more comprehensive and specialised careers advice and meet the expectations of the National Education Learning Priorities (NELP).
  • Rangatahi are more aware of the different career opportunities available to them, and the requirements and different pathways for entry into different sectors. 
  • Ability to identify barriers that are holding back rangatahi and those groups currently disadvantaged in Canterbury from educational achievement.   Better career development support leads to higher course completion rates for tertiary providers. 
  • Rangatahi are aware of what tools and support are available to them on leaving school.
  • Rangatahi are better represented across business and industry representative/decision-making bodies.
  • Create supportive pathways to industry pathways and in -work training schemes for those students leaving school early.

Aspiration 3 actions

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


Desired outcomes

Workplace Diversity

Support programmes that aim to improve workforce diversity in sectors that are under-represented. This includes groups such as women, Māori, Pacific peoples, Disabled people and new migrants/refugees. Support programmes that look to specifically increase diversity in the manufacturing workforce. In particular groups such as women, Māori, Pacific peoples, Disabled people and new migrants refugees. Develop positive case studies that showcase the success of rangatahi Māori, disabled people, workers, employers and business owners in manufacturing.

  • Spotlight sectors have improved visibility and appeal to groups that are either underrepresented or feel unwelcome in their industries. In particular women, Māori, Pacific peoples and Disabled people and new migrants/refugees.
  • Workplaces embrace diversity and have a culture of inclusion, and the wellbeing of the workforce is valued and supported.
  • Business focused Cultural Competency training in Cultural awareness and understanding.
  • Positive case studies showcase the success of rangatahi Māori, workers, employers and business owners in various employment and training programmes across all sectors of the labour market.
  • Canterbury primary and manufacturing sectors has greater appeal to more groups as an attractive career option they can relate to.
  • More rangatahi having positive views of the opportunities in primary and manufacturing and seek out careers in the sector

Best practice workplaces

Research and map best practices that foster supportive workplace environments and a positive culture among staff, where diversity and safety in the workforce is valued.

  • Promotion of workplaces where barriers are removed for disabled people is shared and made visible with other businesses and employers.
  • Employers are aware of the programmes, information sources and resources available to them when hiring a disabled people.
  • Positive case studies showcase the success of Māori rangatahi, disabled people, workers, employers and business owners in various employment and training programmes, across all sectors of the labour market.
  • Good business practices are promoted and shared, and mentorship programmes are supported.
  • Māori, Pacific peoples, ethnic minorities, rainbow communities, disabled people and rangatahi feel safe and supported to thrive in the workplace.
  • Soft skills and personal leadership competencies are developed amongst employers to support positive workplace environments.

Digital technology workforce diversity – Neurodivergence

Support and align programmes that look to specifically increase diversity in the advanced digital workforce. Specifically, with Kanorau ioio/neuro divergent community.

  • Canterbury advanced digital sector has greater appeal to more diverse groups as an attractive and relatable career option.
  • More Kanorau ioio/neuro diverse people are encouraged and seeking out careers in digital technology.