Cross cutting issues | Kā take e hākai ana ki te rohe whānui
The outlook for Southland Murihiku’s economy over the next five years is steady. However, we have several wide-reaching labour market challenges on the horizon. The opportunity to address these can’t be ignored – if we work together as a region to tackle these challenges, we put ourselves in a stronger position to sustainably support economic growth, workforce development, and to build a more cohesive, equitable community fabric.
Across the region
- The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified labour and skill shortages, with the ‘battle for talent’ having a significant impact on Southland Murihiku’s businesses.
- The pandemic has highlighted the region’s reliance on migrant workers to meet skills and labour demands and exposed a vulnerability to immigration (and border) settings.
- Attracting people to the region is challenging because of perceptions of distance, isolation, a lack of things to do, as well as the reality of a housing shortage.
Employers told us
- Some businesses find it difficult to attract people because of negative perceptions of the sector they work within. There is often a lack of clarity about the diversity of roles, career pathways and broader opportunities each sector offers.
- Businesses seek to be better supported with developing governance and leadership capability, and in strengthening workplace learning and development cultures.
Workers told us
- There are many people in Southland Murihiku who would like to be more engaged with the labour market. This is a pool of untapped potential. The groups most likely to be underutilised include disabled people, older workers, women, young people and Māori.
- In keeping with this, work-readiness and transition pathways for rakatahi are a huge opportunity, although not without some unique challenges.
- While many sectors identify specific technical skill gaps, there are cross-cutting skill development areas mentioned across most sectors, for example essential/ foundation skills, and management/business skills.