June 2021 update

Update from the Marlborough interim RSLG on activities in their region.

Message from the Chair - Brendon Burns

One year ago, the interim Regional Skills Leadership Group(iRSLG) was established to help Marlborough through the developing Covid crisis.

Our region took some hits, notably in our tourism/hospitality sectors, but the group soon realised that Marlborough’s challenge was not increasing unemployment but an emerging labour crisis. We are working with sectors like wine and aged care to ensure every person in our region who can work full-time has the training and opportunity to do so. Our region needs all available hands as it faces significant growth in construction, viticulture, retirement, forestry, aquaculture and hopefully again our tourism sector. We are also working with training providers to ensure that people have the opportunity to upskill.

To communicate these issues both regionally and with central government, our iRSLG has produced six Local Insights Reports: 

The group has also worked with the Express/Stuff to develop the Got Work/Want Work series and now this newsletter to you as stakeholders which provides an opportunity to let you know what we have been up to and to say thanks for your support.

Looking forward, the permanent Regional Skills Leadership Group will be established in September. This group’s primary task is to produce a Workforce Development Plan to develop a shared vision for the region’s labour market and identify our regions labour, training and skills needs, both now and in the future, so our region can grow sustainably. To ensure the plan represents the needs of Marlborough’s industries and communities, we will look to engage with you along the way.

In short, Whiria te tāngata – weave our people together. That’s a journey I trust we’ve helped start.

Comment from Craig Churchill — Regional Commissioner, MSD

“Whilst unfortunately we have seen an increase in total Marlborough Job Seekers related to the impacts of COVID (currently up 400 on pre-COVID numbers), we have still been able to place more Job Seekers than ever into employment. This has involved a real community effort, recognising the work MSD’s Employment & Labour Market team are doing alongside our regions Employers with great partnership support from groups like the Marlborough Regional Skills Leadership Group and Marlborough District Council’s ‘Project TEAM." 

Key achievements

  • Engagement with the community identified that some working families are struggling to meet their living expenses. The iRSLG identified that the number of people who are classified as underutilised (those who would like to work or work more) represents around 14% of the working age population (or 3,800 people). This is a 81%increase from the same time last year.
  • The aged residential care sector was identified as having potential for underemployment as well as growing demand for labour. A hui was held in early June with industry, DHB, workers and education providers to explore the opportunities for regional coordination within the sector.
  • Engaged with the viticulture sector, NMIT and government to explore solutions to address labour shortages around vintage and winter pruning. This included short courses and industry open days. Due to the efforts of industry, education providers and other stakeholders the vintage workforce was almost fully subscribed.
  • Stitching together seasonal work so that people could be offered year round sustainable employment was identified as a key opportunity. MSD is looking to offer a pilot with 12-18 months of employment and training within the wine industry.
  • The group partnered with BCITO and developed labour market demand projections within the construction and building sector. Early projections place the shortage at around 1800 workers by 2022. Two workshops have been held with industry, education providers and government to explore opportunities to address the labour needs.
  • After identifying a concern from rangatahi around a lack of jobs, the group supported the “We’re Still Hiring” youth job expo in late 2020. This was attended by over 100 young people resulting in a number of jobs.
  • Between July 2020 to May 2021 Marlborough had a record 957 people exit off Job Seeker Support (namely onto employment), this is up circa 40% on the 664 exits off Job Seeker Support Marlborough had for the same period last year.