Working together

In such a complex labour market planning environment, it is very positive to confirm that the themes raised across the RWPs are well aligned with central government agency programmes.

This response demonstrates that, having established several workforce planning initiatives, the next step is building system-wide coordination. The Sector Workforce Engagement Programme (SWEP) review is an example of work already underway in this space on which RSLGs are being consulted.

Reading the RWPs and responding to the themes raised across them has increased central government agencies’ understanding of RSLGs’ work and each region’s priorities. While RSLGs already have close relationships with some agencies, particularly at a regional level, the development of this response has involved a broad range of stakeholders who have been eager to learn more about the remit and activity of RSLGs.

It is hoped that this response can also help raise awareness of central government agency work already underway that addresses the cross-cutting themes in RWPs. The MBIE secretariat can provide more information on work of particular interest and connect RSLGs to central government agency officials or facilitate RSLG officials’ groups or similar forums where these add value. Central government agencies encourage RSLGs to share agency information and analysis with local labour market actors where it provides insight on current and future local labour market conditions and skills needs.

Central government agencies can also provide information on the national programmes that are delivered in the regions to help RSLGs locate gaps in current provision while they guide and coordinate local actors to shape regional solutions for regional labour market needs. The on-the-ground insight from RSLGs is also valuable for central government agency programme design, particularly in relation to either gaps or particularly successful programmes that could be scaled up and/or implemented in other regions. Agencies with regional arms, such as MSD, will continue to work with RSLGs to support sharing of expertise, connections and progress towards mutual priorities. Similarly, RSLG members can provide a regional workforce and skills development perspective on proposed policy or operational changes when given the opportunity to do so.

Central government agencies encourage RSLGs to share updates on their plans, and engage as needed via the MBIE secretariat, as they implement their first RWPs and develop future plans. While the RWPs provide a formal mechanism for influencing government decision makers by providing regional insight and identifying regional priorities, establishing closer relationships outside the cross-agency response process will help RSLGs and central government agencies work together to meet Aotearoa’s labour and skills needs and improve employment outcomes for all New Zealanders.