He kupu whakataki nā ngā Hoa-toihau | Co-chairs' introduction

Tēnā koutou katoa

During the past nine months we have had the privilege of developing the Te Mahere Ahumahi ā-Rohe o Te Tauihu o Te Waka-a-Māui, Marlborough Regional Workforce Plan (RWP) alongside our community. We hear continuously about the challenges we face locally with shortages of skilled labour and workforce skills, and this plan, while highlighting labour supply and demand trends, identifies where change is needed to achieve a highly skilled and coordinated regional labour market.  Whilst doing this work, it has been important that we align with the strategic direction set out in the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy which sets out the vision for the future of the region.

The Marlborough Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) is a local group, appointed by Government, tasked with identifying and supporting better ways of meeting future skills and workforce needs in the Marlborough region. Functioning independently, the Marlborough RSLG is locally based and regionally enabled.

We know that Marlborough is a great place to live. It also has low unemployment but longstanding labour market challenges. Businesses struggle to attract people with the right skills for the job. We have a high reliance on migrant labour and at the same time we have lower than national median incomes, and some people do not participate in the labour market to the extent that they would like to. We know that this is even more pronounced for Māori. Achieving equitable outcomes across our community is essential to a connected, thriving workforce.

These are issues that present opportunities – and we need to start addressing these now. Our sectors want to grow, and we need to make sure that we have the workforce to support them. Over the next 15 years we will also see new industries emerging (such as Puro and other start-ups) as well as technological changes within our existing industries with a shift to automation. We will also see a shift to a more green and digitally enabled economy. This will require different skills than what we are training for today.

In the past we have left it up to individual businesses and industries to solve their immediate labour market challenges. The RSLG presents an opportunity to provide a co-ordinated view and effort, to support industry to think beyond the next hire, and to start thinking about the workforce now and in the future. This is a plan for Marlborough, based on what stakeholders have told us they need. There is a role for everyone to play.  Our industry, schools, education providers and the community can work together to unlock Marlborough’s potential and to build a productive and resilient economy that is well resourced by its workforce, skills and training.

The tools of the RSLG to effect change are influence, leadership, collaboration and coordination. We will show influence and leadership in the region by facilitating hui, and enabling and enhancing collaborations across industry, education providers and other stakeholders. We will also provide advice and information to stakeholders in our local community.  We see a key role for the RSLG in enabling the Māori economy and embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi in our mahi.  In addition, the education, welfare, and immigration agencies, along with other government departments looking at workforce issues, will use the insights of the RSLG to understand future workforce needs.

Tē tōia, tē haumatia - nothing can be achieved without a plan, a workforce and a way of doing things.

Headshot images of Corey Hebberd and Jennifer Moxon

Marlborough RSLG co-chair’s Corey Hebberd and Jennifer Moxon