Local Insights Report: March 2023

Nelson Tasman Local Insights Report: March 2023

You are welcome to quote from any report below – please attribute the Nelson Tasman Regional Skills Leadership Group, an independent advisory group on regional skills and workforce development. ​

Top labour market challenges

View of Nelson Harbour.

Low unemployment is continuing to make attracting and retaining employees very difficult. Employers report that vacancies remaining open over an extended period are leading to stress for both employers and employees, and impacting productivity. Employers are reporting they have more roles than people being referred from traditional sources, so they are having to think outside the box when looking for workers, including asking existing staff to use their personal networks to tell people about jobs.

Employers and work brokers have raised an urgent demand for both pre and post-employment support for people entering the workforce. Feedback is that often young people are applying for jobs or starting in jobs without a good understanding of what is expected; what the reality of working is like; and are lacking confidence and support. Because of this, they frequently fail to remain in employment, which is not good for either the worker or the employer.

We are hearing concerns that changes to support for apprenticeships have the potential to impact on attracting and retaining apprentices. Some apprentices are now having to pay fees that were otherwise covered by the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) which ceased on 31 December 2022. This will be a challenge for current apprentices and potentially a barrier to attracting future apprentices. Funding for employers of apprentices via the Apprenticeship Boost programme will cease at the end of this year, and TEC have sent out guidance making changes in reporting required by employers of apprentices and others in work based learning. There is concern that this could reduce the number of employers willing to take on apprentices.

‘Transformative change often starts small, but is strategic and enduring’ Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy

We promised in the 2022 Regional Workforce Plan (RWP) plan, that we would work to progressively add 4 more sectors and 2 more demographic groups to our refreshed plans over the next 2 years.

In the 2023 refreshed RWP we will be adding in information, regional actions and national recommendations for 2 more sectors that significantly contribute to Nelson-Tasman’s economy, community and workforce.

  1. The visitor setor: tourism and hospitality
  2. Forestry and associated wood-product manufacturing

We will be releasing the refreshed RWP early in July.

Ensuring a regional voice in national decisions for vocational training in our region in 2024

All 15 Regional Skills Leadership Groups provided advice to TEC this month to inform investment guidance to tertiary education organisations for 2024 and shape future investment settings (see the following page for further information specifically about Nelson-Tasman’s advice).

Nelson Tasman advice included insights from the region and had an emphasis on priority sectors as identified in our Regional Workforce Plan 2022.

Nelson Tasman Regional Workforce Plan

Advice was requested on 4 elements:

  1. Key labour skill shortages
  2. Current engagement with workforce development councils and tertiary education organisations around tertiary education activities
  3. Tertiary education specific advice
  4. Insights around careers information

A cross section of stakeholders including regional industry and employers; local government, iwi, unions, workforce development councils; and other key community members were consulted to shape the advice.

Update on our Blue Economy: Moananui announcement

A new project ‘Moananui – Blue Economy Cluster’ will accelerate the growth of ocean-related businesses and boost jobs in Nelson Tasman.

The project will bring together a group of seafood and aquaculture companies with a common interest in growing the sector’s sustainability and success. It was announced in March, and will enable the local sector to move forward together and pool resources and expertise.

The Government is contributing $500,000 over 2 years through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund. A further $400,000 will be invested by the Nelson Regional Development Agency, Cawthron Institute, Sealord, Pharmalink Extracts, Plant and Food, Port Nelson, Kernohan Engineering, Wakatū Incorporation, and MacLab.

This project is a great example of local businesses and regional leaders working in partnership with Government to enhance Nelson Tasman regions competitive advantage overseas, create more jobs to boost the local economy, and focus efforts on low carbon, sustainable initiatives.

Aquaculture is a priority industry in our regional workforce plan:

Aquaculture industry – supporting the development of a national workforce strategy

Successful regional tender to support Older Entrepreneurs

Nelson is one of five regions chosen to deliver a Senior Enterprise Pilot, funded by  the Office for Seniors. Nelson Chamber of Commerce will take a collaborative approach to managing the pilot supported by Nelson City Council with Business Assist and Age Concern promoting the pilot.

The programme will consist of a mixture of group training and one-to-one business mentoring, focused on business essentials, and capability building. It will be launched in June with a call to action for people who may be interested (both participants and mentors).

The pilots aim to address barriers to senior entrepreneurship identified in academic research, which include self-belief, practical business skills and access to networks. Older workers have transferrable skills and networks, which are great foundations from which to build a business. Targeted to people 50-years-old and over, the pilots will involve training, mentoring and group activities to support participants to a point they have the skills, confidence, and networks to venture into starting up a small business later in life.

Older workers are a priority demographic group in our regional workforce plan:

Older workers – making the most of unique skills and experience

Update on a construction skills hub and maximising the opportunity of planned capital projects in our region.

Late last year we were notified that our funding bid to central government for a skills hub was not successful. While this was disappointing, we are continuing to explore how we can work collectively to get a construction skills pathway up and running.

Serious skills and labour shortages reman within construction and related sectors (see the following page for forecasts) and ensuring a co-ordinated response to this long-term demand for a skilled construction workforce in Nelson Tasman is a top priority.

We are also hearing from our smaller businesses about the challenges in the tender processes especially for subcontractors, and looking at ways to understand these issues and do what we can to address them.

We want to ensure our construction businesses can thrive, and maximise the opportunities of the planned significant capital projects in a way that makes a positive intergenerational difference in the wellbeing, economy and prosperity of our regions people and businesses.

Construction is a priority industry in our regional workforce plan:

Construction industry – addressing workforce issues in Nelson Tasman

Our focus for the next 3 months

Collaborating with key stakeholders as the review progresses and further action on the prioritised regional actions set out in the 2022 Regional Workforce Plan.

Refreshing/updating and adding to the Regional Workforce Plan for 2023, which as promised will include some more sectors that are important to our region.

Nelson-Tasman Update for Stakeholders on Development of Advice to TEC

See our website Nelson Tasman RSLG for more detailed information later in April regarding our advice, and sign up for regular regional updates.

Nelson Tasman Regional Skills Leadership Group

Developing advice to the tertiary education commission for 2024 vocational training

diagram showing the overlap between RSLGs and WDCs

One of our roles as the Nelson Tasman RSLG is to inform national direction, so that education, welfare, and immigration agencies can be more responsive to our regional needs. This year for the first time RSLG and Workforce Development Councils (WDC) have been asked to provide advice to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) about the vocational education and training they fund, to ensure it meets the future skills and workforce needs in our regions.

TEC manages tertiary education investment, including funding the delivery of vocational education and training. In our region there are two main ways vocational education and training is delivered  – through all of the courses provided via NMIT/Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, and through Private Training Establishment (PTEs). NMIT/Te Pukenga delivery now includes many of the industry training organisations; and PTE’s deliver programmes and qualifications from foundation level to postgraduate level, depending on their educational subject areas.

RSLG were asked to provide advice to TEC by April about the tertiary education delivery they might fund in our region for 2024. In doing this we’ve been working with the six national Workforce Development Councils (WDC’s) who set standards, develop qualifications and help shape the curriculum of vocational education, to ensure the vocational education system meets industry needs.

TEC will use our advice, and advice from the WDC, to inform their guidance to providers in June about what TEC is looking to fund.

  • Vocational education is not a solution to immediate labour shortages, as it takes time to train and learn.
  • Vocational education is a longer term solution, aimed at ensuring we can develop, upskill and reskill our people to create the regional workforce Nelson Tasman needs for our economic wellbeing.
  • Our RSLG advice to TEC is aimed at ensuring our region has the right training available and funded, our learners are supported to complete that training,  and the skilled workforce needs of our employers and industries are met.

Our regional advice provided to TEC will be available on our website later in April. It includes things we heard multiple times from a range of our Nelson Tasman sectors/employers/education providers. 

The advice includes overarching recommendations, and specific advice on the vocational training needs for the sectors and groups covered in our Regional Workforce Plan 2022

Nelson Tasman Regional Workforce Plan

  • Aquaculture
  • Construction
  • Rangatahi
  • Older workers (50+)

It also includes regional advice on vocational training in two additional sectors which we will be discussing in more detail in our refreshed Regional Workforce Plan 2023 to be released in July:

  • forestry and wood processing sector
  • the visitor sector (tourism and hospitality)

Nelson Tasman workforce demand profile - forecast skill shortages

(source infometrics industry employment projections for 2028)

Critical Skill Shortages.

  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (Tasman in particular)
  • Construction (Nelson in particular)
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance (Nelson in particular)
  • Manufacturing (Tasman in particular)
  • Retail Trade

Demand within these sectors is very high. Jobs in these sectors make up a considerable number of all job openings in our region and demand is higher than the national average

High Regional Demand for Skills

  • Accommodation and Food services
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Education and Training (Nelson in particular)
  • Administration and Support Services (Tasman in particular)
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing (Nelson in particular)

These sectors have ongoing projected demand for workers in roles in Nelson and Tasman.

Specific Occupations in demand

  • Construction workers/builders
  • Personal Care Assistants (including Kaiāwhina health workers)
  • Registered Nurses
  • Secondary School Teachers

These occupations have ongoing current and projected demand for workers with relevant qualifications

Data for Nelson and Tasman combined (ANZSIC Level 4)

Red sectors have critical job shortages. Jobs in these sectors make up a considerable number of all job openings in the region and demand is higher than the national average. Yellow sectors have high regional demand.

Data for Nelson and Tasman combined (ANZSIC Level 4)

Previous local insights reports