Local insights report: May 2023

Marlborough local insights report for May 2023.

Marlborough regional news

Port Marlborough is strengthening links between industry and education in the region

Port Marlborough is working with Queen Charlotte College on opportunities for Gateway students to explore career options at the Port.

Te Ātiawa Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust and Port Marlborough recently created the Te Awe Toroa Scholarship. This initiative supports an iwi member from Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui to obtain tertiary qualifications in Environmental and Resource Consent studies, and provides practical work experience and professional development at the Port. The Scholarship is in addition to existing scholarship and cadetship opportunities in mechanical and civil engineering, and summer placements.

Facilitating links between schools and industry

The RSLG is also facilitating links between schools and industry by organising a visit to MBIE for Marlborough Boys’ College economics students on an educational trip to Wellington. RSLG secretariat staff based in Wellington, including an MBC old boy, hosted the boys at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

While in Wellington the students also visited the offices of Trade Me, Sharesies, the ANZ dealing room, Parliament and He Tohu|National Library of New Zealand to see the original copies of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Te Kotahi o Te Tauihu Trust has been working with MSD to deliver Te Ahi a Mahuika

A 5-week wānanga for wāhine Māori co-designed with the participants in the Wairau area, i Te Ahi a Mahuika supports wāhine Māori to remember their value, embrace their skillsets, and focus on their pathway (their moemoea).

Sessions covered:

  • mau korowai
  • kapa haka
  • P.A.T.H (Planning Alternative Tomorrow’s with Hope) Plans
  • workshops with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Kainga Ora.

Regional workforce plan focus areas

The inaugural Marlborough Wine Industry Wellness week is an initiative of the industry’s Workforce Steering Group

The wellbeing of the people in the wine industry is key to maintaining a successful workforce. Events include speakers on mental health and wellbeing sharing strategies for companies and individuals to address wellbeing in a sustainable way.

Negative perceptions about industries, including working conditions, can be barriers to recruitment and retention as noted in the Marlborough Regional Workforce Plan (RWP). Wine is one of the focus sectors in the RWP and the Workforce Steering Group has been making rapid progress developing and implementing a workforce plan for Marlborough.

The week concludes with the announcement of the 2023 workplace wellbeing award.

Te rāngai waina | Wine — Marlborough Regional Workforce Plan

The RSLG is engaging with emerging industries to understand future workforce and skill needs

The RSLG met with PURO, Australasia's largest medicinal cannabis grower based here in Marlborough. PURO operates both outdoor and indoor growing facilities. The expansion of indoor growing will provide year round employment in a range of skilled roles including plant cultivation, genetic research, engineering, IT, environmental and logistics.

This informs our investment advice to the Tertiary Education Commission:

Advice to the Tertiary Education Commission

Labour market activities and insights 

Techweek in Marlborough continues to grow

In 2022 there was one well attended event however Techweek this year featured multiple events for different audiences. Youth focused events included Combat Robotics and an interactive careers event with inspiring tech leaders.

Industry was catered for with:

  • an Innovation day at the Marlborough Research Centre
  • a Forestry hackathon to look at the potential of turning slash into a value stream
  • a range of other events.

Techweek aligns with the focus areas in the Regional Workforce Plan and the Marlborough District Council’s aspiration for Marlborough to be a recognised leader in Agritech and Aquatech solutions in Australasia.

The Vine to Wine intern collaboration has completed another vintage

3 companies have combined their seasonal work to provide year-round employment in the wine industry. After completing vintage at New Zealand Wineries, interns work at Ormond Nurseries before moving to SLT Company to operate machinery in vineyards during the growing season. The 3 companies are supported by the HR company Only Human.

This is a great example of employers collaborating to provide attractive employment opportunities in a tight labour market. The RSLG encourages other seasonal employers to consider similar approaches to solving their seasonal labour shortages.

Source: Winepress April 2023

The Marlborough region

  • 39% of businesses intend to expand their workforce in the next 12 months, focusing on medium and high skill locals. (Source: Business Insights Survey Q4 2022)
  • 3 wineries and one grower responded to an SOS from Hawkes Bay winery Fat & Sassy that lost 75% of their fruit to Cyclone Gabrielle. The support will recoup half of their lost wine production. (Source: Winepress April 2023)
  • Jobseeker numbers in March 2023 (1,079) remain higher than pre-COVID levels (945 in December 2019). This indicates there is still some underutilisation in Marlborough’s tight labour market.

Our focus to the end of June 2023

The focus for the Marlborough RSLG is implementing:

Te Mahere Ahumahi ā-Rohe o Te Tauihu o Te Waka-a-Māui | Marlborough Regional Workforce Plan

A summary of the year 1 (2022 to 2023) actions for the 6 focus areas and 5 focus sectors can be found at:

Marlborough Regional Workforce Plan summary [PDF, 222 KB]

Trends at a glance 

  • 0.3% unemployment rate: the lowest unemployment rate in the country for the March 2023 quarter. (This is an estimate only as the sample size is too small).
  • 5.5% underutilisation rate: the lowest underutilisation rate in the country for the March 2023 quarter.
  • There are no figures for Māori or NEET (youth 15 to 24 not in employment, education or training) for the quarter. This is due to the small sample size. The lack of information on the unemployment rate for Māori is a concern because it affects the ability to monitor and respond to Māori unemployment.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey, March 2023

Prepared by the regionally led Marlborough Regional Skills Leadership Group.

For further information, please contact: MarlboroughRSLG@mbie.govt.nz

Last updated: 06 June 2023