Aspiration 1

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

Waitaha pūkenga rau, pūkenga manomano

This aspiration focuses on capability uplift within the labour market, and the relationship between labour market needs and the education and training sector. It is about ensuring our region is prepared for future labour demand, and that key players within the system are aligned and connected.

Ahakoa ngā whiunga o te wā, e rite ana tatou ki te koke whakamua
Despite what is thrown at us, we are prepared to move forward

Canterbury has a diverse, thriving economy – and it's set to grow. Having people in the region with the right skills for the right jobs is essential to this growth and will ensure that as a region we can be agile in responding quickly to labour market changes. This means we can take advantage of new opportunities as soon as they arise, adapt easily to the future of work, and be in the best possible position when unexpected social and economic shocks occur.

Being agile requires planning with a long term, strategic, people-focused outlook that works with business and employers. This planning will ensure emerging sectors have access to people with the right skills, experience and attributes to grow with confidence, and ensure the region can continue to build on our already strong, established industries.

To achieve our objectives, the education sector and industry will need to continue to build closer ties with each other to ensure they are better connected and informed of each other’s needs. Closer alignment will ensure the qualifications and training programmes that our rangatahi and wider community take part in, will give them the skills they need to thrive in our region’s businesses, now and into the future. It will also help ensure industry has realistic expectations of how to support the education sector and graduates.

This is particularly important considering the areas of vulnerability COVID-19 has highlighted within the region’s labour market, particularly around shortages of required skilled workers across a wide variety of industries. Being able to adapt quickly has been paramount, and we want to make sure our people have the skills and support they need to be able to do this with confidence in the future.

Equally critical is how we adapt to advances in technology, because how we do business and work is already changing. This RWP focuses on meeting both current labour market demand as well as looking to the future so the region can support an agile and resilient workforce that will contribute to, and benefit from, a more highly skilled and productive regional economy.

When assessing this aspiration, this first iteration of the Canterbury Regional Workforce Plan (RWP) will take a view across all sectors of the region’s economy, but will have a particular focus on the impacts to Healthcare and Social Assistance, Manufacturing and Digital Technology sectors and Rangatahi as a key labour market demographic.