Progress report: December 2022

The Tāmaki Makaurau Regional Workforce Plan sets out the actions for the RSLG. This update covers the actions that are the Group’s current focus.

Message from the RSLG Co-Chairs

The Tāmaki Makaurau Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) has elected to place significant weight on achievement through relationships and partnership building with key stakeholders in our region's labour market. This collaboration-based mahi is the foundation of our Regional Workforce Plan – building the workforce for better jobs with a focus on consulting and working with everyone involved with the local labour market. As we break down barriers and suggest new ways of building a prosperous region that leaves no one behind, we have connected and coordinated with our key stakeholders and partners.

The Tāmaki Makaurau Regional Workforce Plan sets out the actions for the RSLG, and this update covers actions that are the Group's current focus. While this update does not provide consideration across all our actions, it will give some sense of what our efforts around regional workforce coordination have yielded so far.

Tāmaki Makaurau Regional Workforce Plan

Finally, we want to express our gratitude to our regional stakeholders for recognising the task at hand and their mahi that clearly benefits the region and New Zealand.

Our economy, industry and business – progress on actions 


Remove barriers and fast track local and migrant training

The RSLG has been working very closely with Te Whātu Ora, Health NZ, the National Kāiawhina Pipeline Working Group, and the Ministry of Health to support additional funding to attract and support health workers which will help alleviate workforce shortages.

Utilise the comprehensive data and forecasts existing in the sector to validate investment in workforce development 

The RSLG has been working with Te Whātu Ora. A dedicated unit has been set up to coordinate and streamline access to international health workers across the system. The unit utilises licensed immigration advisors and seconded Immigration New Zealand staff, and it will establish workforce pipeline projects for allied health, kāiawhina, midwifery and medical practitioners. 

Support more joined up pathways for career progression with professional categories

The RSLG is working in collaboration with the National Kāiawhina Pipeline Working Group, which is based on the long-established and successful Nursing Pipeline Project to support development of clinical and non-clinical roles and their utilisation throughout the sector.

This includes the expansion of the Kāiawhina (unregulated healthcare workers) workforce; however, progress has been slow. When this is rolled out more widely it will offer many opportunities to rangatahi, particularly those who are currently not formally working but have lived experiences, to start a career. Full support and career pathways remain an important enabler. This is being developed in collaboration with the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)’s targeted priorities for health professions. 


Support the implementation of the industry-led Future of Hospitality Roadmap with a focus on raising the attractiveness of the sector

The RSLG has worked closely with the Restaurant Association accreditation programme HospoCred – developed in 2022 for recognising standards within the hospitality industry.

HospCred promotes better working conditions, decent employment practices and changing the image of the sector to ensure good jobs. To date more than 230 businesses have already signed up. Having accreditation means businesses have displayed a commitment to best practice and are committed to ongoing development of their workers. The RSLG advocates a thriving hospitality sector that offers better working conditions, based on a strong employer duty of care for its service workforce.

Promote a hospitality workforce that can share manaakitanga with manuhiri, or guests, while representing this home with heart, soul and mana

The RSLG has worked closely with the sector to connect them with employer support programmes especially for youth, such as the Youth Employer Pledge programme being run by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and regional destination programmes supporting a thriving hospitality sector.  

Construction and infrastructure

Support the building of visible and sustainable career pathways

The RSLG is working closely with the Waihanga Ara Rau Workforce Development Council and the New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) on the Employer Support Programme for those employers who need extra assistance to help their apprentices through their learning journey.

NZCB has indicated that they may fund something in this area – possibly a pilot programme as no options are currently available nationally. If this programme is successfully piloted it may be developed into a micro-credential in the future.

Advocate construction and infrastructure training is effectively delivered and tailored to future regional needs

The RSLG is working with Waihanga Ara Rau to set up a strategic reference group to take into account the creation of workforce development plans for industries identified in the Waihanga Ara Rau’s Statement of Strategic Direction and the Tāmaki Makaurau Regional Workforce Plan.

Increase women’s access to construction sector employment

The RSLG is also working to support the Industry Equity project in conjunction with Hanga-Aro-Rau and the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).

An online toolkit and equity directory was launched in July and has had over 3,400 visits to date. Resources include the Women’s Toolbox – Get a Career in the Trades website. 

TradeCareers(external link)

The Wāhine on the Tools web series launched 29 September 2022, with over 146,472 views to date. 

Wāhine on the Tools(external link) – TradeCareers

Promotes the use of the Workforce Information Platform

The Platform informs the region of future employment and skill requirements in the construction and infrastructure sector. The RSLG has promoted the use of this platform to support regional workforce planning, and this has been adopted by Waihanga Ara Rau (who now own it) to be used for the sector. 

Support initiatives to grow future Māori and Pacific industry leaders and businesses in Tāmaki Makaurau

The RSLG has been working closely with The Southern Initiative (TSI) to support the Māori and Pacific Trades Training Programme, which aims to create quality employment opportunities for graduates who have gone on to work mainly in the construction and infrastructure sector.

As part of this initiative, TSI tested a wraparound employment brokering service where the team worked with a proportion of graduates over 13 months to ensure they had the licences, equipment, and relational support to connect to quality jobs that prioritised their professional development and paid meaningful wages. 

Manufacturing and logistics

Support skills development for manufacturing sector workers

The RSLG has commenced regular monthly engagements with Hanga-Aro-Rau, ensuring any regional input and insights that the RSLG can provide from stakeholders are considered in Hanga-Aro-Rau's various projects and included where appropriate. Collaboration includes support to Hanga-Aro-Rau Workforce Development Council (WDC) with its TEC COVID-19 Relief Fund research project, and support of upskilling initiatives such as Project Ikuna, a micro-credentialling initiative that is delivered in work and supports Pacific manufacturing sector employees to upskill rapidly through credentials gains in domains such as digital literacy and team leadership.

Hanga-Aro-Rau is in the process of establishing a working group to collaborate on Regional Workforce Plan actions, supported by research. This will provide further basis for collaboration with the RSLG on projects of mutual interest going forward. Hanga-Aro-Rau is also developing a Pacific Workforce Strategy and is inviting input from the RSLG on its development. This will be a 5-year plan with annual action plans.

Promote skilled Māori workforce in the sector

There is an opportunity for the manufacturing sector to grow its presence in Tāmaki Makaurau with Tāmaki 10,000 engaging Māori communities, whānau, hapū and iwi to become more proactively involved in the sector, both as employees and employers.

Hanga-Aro-Rau is working closely with the RSLG to develop a Māori Workforce Strategy currently. This will be a 5-year plan with annual action plans. Hanga-Aro-Rau and Waihanga Ara Rau have a collaborative industry equity project:

TradeCareers(external link)

Support growing productive and customer-focused manufacturing firms

MAKE NZ, Hanga-Aro-Rau Workforce Development Council and The Learning Wave are working alongside other manufacturing stakeholders to develop and pilot a second step in the pathway for Digital Skills in Manufacturing, building on the Digital Skills in Manufacturing micro-credential developed at Competenz (now Te Pūkenga) which is currently available.

This is an industry led and funded project targeted at up-skilling team leaders in manufacturing to support the increasing digitalisation of processes.

Our people – progress on actions 

Rangatahi – ensuring sustainable and equitable education and employment outcomes for youth

Address the large numbers of South Auckland rangatahi leaving school without qualifications during the COVID-19 pandemic

The RSLG will advocate for secondary schools, vocational education institutions, Ministry of Education (MoE) and Māori and Pacific to address the large numbers of South Auckland rangatahi leaving school without qualifications during the COVID-19 pandemic. The RSLG is working closely with the Regional Public Sector Commissioner as part of the Ministry of Education – Youth Attendance and Engagement Working Group to support initiatives to help youth return to education.

The NCEA Change Programme is enhancing learning by promoting equitable access for all students, and ensuring literacy and numeracy are now co-requisites to gaining an NCEA qualification. Māori knowledge is also being recognised as having equal status and will be equitably valued and resourced. This ensures deeper learning and clearer pathways to further education or work across all communities. 

Encourage young people to stay and complete secondary school

The RSLG supports secondary schools to prototype initiatives that encourage young people to stay and complete secondary school before moving into high-quality tertiary education, employment or enterprise. 

The RSLG is engaged with Selwyn College and Manurewa High School to better understand paradigm shifts in the way schools can support learners and help them transition from secondary school into employment, and how we can collectively support ākonga to participate and progress in school.

Self-sustaining Trade Academies inside high schools are being piloted at Massey High School in collaboration with Kainga Ora to give students access to build houses which are then on sold.

The group is also supporting a proposal by MoE to develop an employer-led version of the trades academy model. This would involve partnering with employers who are prepared to host the majority of trades academy delivery within the workplace.

Enhancing careers delivery pathways beginning at school

The RSLG promotes enhancing careers delivery pathways beginning at school. It also acknowledges the region’s people are on a career continuum and face-to-face post-school learning is vital with a focus on regionally led solutions and career job support and pastoral support.

The RSLG is working closely with Ministry of Education and TEC through a regular fortnightly catchup to support learner-centric approaches including a personalised skills and career interest assessment for students are an increasing feature of pedagogy.  

People with disabilities

Support the Working Matters Disability Employment Action Plan

The RSLG has committed to supporting the Working Matters Disability Employment Action Plan. This aims to help ensure an inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19, where people with disabilities and people with health conditions can participate in employment as they want to, on an equal basis. 

The RSLG is working closely with the Youth Disabilities Forum and attended the inaugural meeting with a focus on supporting equity and pay parity for the community who are marginalised and left behind consistently as well as experiencing a lack of facilities to support them to be their best at work. This includes discussions to support more educator support and advice to help schools welcome and accommodate youth with disabilities – from primary school and on. Anecdotally, some youth have been refused enrolment at some schools when their disability was disclosed as the school felt it did not have the capacity or capability to provide support because they did not understand how to approach them to discover their needs. 

Tangata Whenua

Collaborate with the Waipareira Trust

The RSLG has collaborated with Waipareira Trust, who are releasing research on the Tamaki 10,000 programme delivery to date from Te Pae Herenga o Tamaki (provider collective who is delivering Tamaki 10,000 initiatives).

The findings of this research will be used to potentially scale up programmes that are performing well that will help with the implementation of relevant actions in the regional workforce plan.

Connect with Whāriki

The Group is also connecting with Whāriki – Māori Business Network. This is to support their programme of work that is growing capability and capacity of Māori businesses in Tamaki Makaurau (there are 60,000 registered Māori businesses in Aotearoa, 5,100 of which are Auckland based).

For example, Whāriki provide advice to Māori businesses on how to secure procurement opportunities and grow the business skills needed to secure new markets and capital.         

Tagata Pasifika

Support Pacific workforce upskilling initiatives

The RSLG will support Pacific workforce upskilling initiatives, led or facilitated by Pacific communities. 

These initiatives will help Pacific people through education, micro-credentials, digital and tech, as well as literacy and numeracy projects, for example, Project Ikuna.

The RSLG is working closely with Project Ikuna which is a 4-year programme developed by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited in conjunction with and co-funded by MBIE. The intent is to support the Pacific workforce currently in low skilled, low paid work to lift skills levels. Project Ikuna achieves this by development and delivery of micro-credentials through the workplace (3450 credentials delivered to date). Credential domains include digital skills, money management and leadership skills. Participating sectors include manufacturing and processing, healthcare, transport and logistics, construction and infrastructure.

Connect Pacific businesses with support and resources

The RSLG will advocate to connect Pacific businesses with support and resources delivered by key regional stakeholders to build resilience and growth.

The RSLG is working closely with business leaders and industry, including the Pacific Business Trust and Ministry of Pacific Peoples, to support Pacific businesses and employees to achieve wider reach and employment outcomes.  

Support career information, support and advice initiatives

The RSLG will support career information, support and advice initiatives that have reach and impact with Pacific people in relevant aiga and groups.

The RSLG is working closely with Ministry of Education and TEC to help reach the Pacific community and young learners to increase retention, support transitions and improve learning outcomes.

Our future workforce – progress on actions 

Green skills and jobs for a circular economy workforce

The RSLG supports the workforce to identify the critical green skills required for Tāmaki Makaurau to develop a sustainable and circular economy model supported by its workforce

The RSLG is working closely with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited to understand climate-related risks and opportunities and prepare the workforce for the climate change transition.

Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan, which is supported by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, reach net zero by 2050, and adapt to climate change. The RSLG is working with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited to better understand the need to embed equity, te ao Māori, and a strong rangatahi voice in the plan and identify how we can support workforce enablement for this work.

The RSLG advocates working with industry to support workforce upskilling for green skills and prepare the workforce for the green transition owing to climate change impacts

Climate change poses a reputational risk if the skills required to transition, or prosper from the transition, are not present in the labour market.

The RSLG is working closely with Climate Connect Aotearoa to better understand how we can identify the changes required for the workforce to respond to climate change and the skills associated with these changes, as well as how to prepare the workforce to adapt to these changes and attract appropriately skilled workers from outside of Auckland to our region.

Good skills for good jobs

The RSLG supports working with Te Pūkenga to ensure a comprehensive delivery of vocational education across the region

The RSLG is working closely with Te Pūkenga to support secondary school transitions and to ensure that learners are engaged and supported within the system. 

The RSLG supports a review of the value of current active labour market programmes in Tāmaki Makaurau following the completion of the national review of ALMPs by MBIE

The RSLG is working closely with MSD to initiate a 'deep dive' into to better understand Active Labour Market Programmes (ALMP) and understand what is working and is fit for purpose.

Future actions and related activities

In the coming year the RSLG will be working on actions relating to the following areas:

  • Our people: Tangata Whenua, ethnic communities, ageing workforce, women.
  • Our economy, industry, and business: Primary industry (horticulture), screen and creative.
  • Our future workforce: Digital skills and a future ready resilient workforce.

For more information


Last updated: 08 March 2023