Whakarapopotonga | Executive summary

The first Regional Workforce Plan (RWP) for Canterbury endeavours to provide strategic guidance across the region on labour market matters.

It aims to identify areas of labour shortages, the skills needed for these jobs and the most effective ways to maximise the ability to meet these workforce needs, both regionally and nationally.

The RWP has been created by the Canterbury Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) in consultation with stakeholders and partners such as industry, community groups, unions and government agencies. The RSLG is made up of iwi, community, business/industry, trade union and government representatives, and is supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

This first iteration of the RWP sets out our regional labour market context, and identifies three wider labour market aspirations and four initial focus areas. These aspirations and focus areas have in turn guided the creation of key actions that the group has recommended for progression within the region.

The three aspirations guiding the plan are:

  • The workforce has the right skills and capability to support Canterbury’s current and future labour market demands.
  • There is equitable access to the support needed to grow and navigate within the labour market in all stages of a working life.
  • All workplaces are worker-friendly, safe, and inclusive, and support both employees and employers to thrive.

Alongside these aspirations, the group has identified four initial focus areas which they have researched and consulted widely on throughout the community to see how their aspirations can be applied to improve labour market outcomes in these areas. The four key focus areas in this first iteration are:

  • Rangatahi (demographic group)
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Digital Technology
  • Manufacturing

The plan identifies the key issues currently facing these four areas and suggests a number of recommendations and actions that the RSLG believes will lead to improved labour market outcomes for the region.

The actions require further detailed planning and implementation-design to identify the delivery partners, targeted activities, initiatives, and investments required to bring them to life. To be successful, this work will require a collective, regionally joined-up approach. The RSLG 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.

The RSLG also acknowledge that the issues and opportunities they are trying to address are vast, and that these initial focus areas and the subsequent action plan is not an exhaustive list. It is anticipated that in the future, as the Regional Workforce Plan evolves and matures, other key sectors and demographic groups will be examined. The RSLG looks forward to working with the region and its communities to understand what other issues and actions they can advance.