Te ahu mahi – Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is a large employer in Tairāwhiti, employing approximately 2000 workers (Infometrics—Regional Economic Profile, 2021). Most of these jobs are working with food, polymer and wood products, machinery and equipment, rubber, and printing.

Manufacturing methods are innovating at a faster rate and this needs to be served by innovative training methods. Businesses are very aware of the need to develop a skilled workforce to keep up with the pace. The first step is making bespoke qualifications accessible for people moving into manufacturing. Another step is bringing schools, training providers, marae and communities closer to manufacturing workplaces allowing people to see what a career in the sector looks like.

Businesses have highlighted the ongoing need for comprehensive pastoral care provision to support entry-level kaimahi. The pastoral care element is difficult for businesses to provide as they do not have the expertise or resource to adequately provide this to all new entrants.

Businesses have also commented that many kaimahi are entering the workforce with very low numeracy and literacy levels. Employers are dropping their minimum requirements; however this has adverse flow-on effects for job retention and the uptake of future training opportunities. A better baseline standard for kaimahi to have access to numeracy and literacy development is desirable.