Priorities for the next 12 months

Prioritisation sets the agenda in terms of what really matters, which is reflected in how resources are allocated. Stakeholder engagement was instrumental in helping the RSLG to identify and prioritise the necessary actions outlined in the RWP, while still being able to meet the desired outcomes of the workforce plan.

Digital technologies & ICT

  • Overarching oversight of the sectors to identify digital technologies and applications to support the region. Areas of interest include Agritech, Education, Health and Artificial Intelligence.
  • A more fundamental change for training Tech talent in the region is required that needs to be developed in partnership with industry. As part of this development the RSLGwill discover whether the Digital ITP can be leveraged in some way and how the RSLG can get in behind to support this.
  • Getting a lay of the land in relation to where the Tech requirements are in other sectors in terms of what sectors are doing well but could be accelerated with a Tech interface.
  • Engaging/intervening much earlier to inspire more girls, Māori and Pasifika to consider tech as a career pathway, and for the schools/curriculum to be more actively supporting this.
  • Waikato tech leaders are clear that a digital/lCTapprenticeship model is something they would like to explore but there does not appear to be the appetite/progress with tertiary providers to move in this direction. The RSLG could prioritise this to realise longer term outcomes through an advocacy lens but by first discovering whether there are existing initiatives that could be tapped into for this kind of model to be implemented.
  • Advocate for providers that are already doing good work regarding the initiation ofTech hubs and see if we can help get more funding sent their way to do more of this work across the region.
  • Te Waka will continue to contribute towards supporting the 'Equitable Opportunities for Tech Employment' pilot initiative to simplify and improve the tech education-to-employment pathway so there are equitable opportunities for a wider spectrum of learners. This will be partly achieved via its Tech Student Speed Networking event; however, it only goes toward solving part of the puzzle. The RSLG would like to keep this goal as a priority but acknowledges that it will be tackled a bit at a time between Te Waka, the Cultivate Trust, and the Tertiary Tech Alliance.

Freight & logistics

  • Going forward the plan is for the RSLG (led by Te Waka) to undertake 1-2 pilots focused on the Commercial Road Transport segment in relation to talent attraction/retention - trialled in the region (and championed for other regions) to garner feasibility of proposed approaches.
  • From a practical perspective we expect the pilots to support four key areas: (i) facilitating better connections between our local educators and employers; (ii) raising awareness about what is already happening within the region (this is a challenge); (iii) leaning further into underserved communities to unlock the potential in the workforce in the region including from migrants, women returning to work and neurodiverse groups; and (iv) showcasing the region as a great place to live and work.

Climate change

  • Working with Workforce Development Councils on their programmes for Climate Change and promoting these within the Waikato, focusing on:
    • Climate impact on farming and programmes for carbon monitoring
    • Electrical training for solar installations
    • Hydrogen fuels and its engineering impacts for fuel station installations, hydrogen in pipelines which is related to the operation of hydrogen trucks
    • Considerations for future wood pellet boilers
    • Micro-credentialing
  • Support research around the impact of climate on the sectors most impacted due to carbon mitigation and adaption programmes.
  • Advocate/promote training programmes for schools and communities.

Primary industries

  • Continue to assess the concept of a future primary sector academy with Muka Tangata and Food & Fibre CoVE to find out the current and future needs for the farming sector and its workforce. The initial focus is on the dairy sector with a view to extend to the wider sector. Areas of training would focus on animal welfare, environmental requirements, farm machinery and technology, and future foods.

Waikato workforce (with a focus on Rangatahi)

  • Support industry to re-boot apprentice programmes which are relevant to their sectors, including Energy, Water and Infrastructure.
  • Promote employer skill needs to be met in electrical, civil and mechanical.
  • Supporting local initiatives focused on rangatahi into training and employment in rural areas such as Waitomo, Otorohanga and South Waikato.
  • Advocate and collaborate with agencies to promote pathways from education/training into meaningful employment:
    • Support SMART Waikato around its programmes of connecting rangatahi via schools with industry.
    • Collaborate with WOCs to develop qualifications and micro-credentials that address unmet skill needs.
    • Promote soft and hard skills for rangatahi, related to work ethic, reliability and financial literacy, for employment stability and promotion.
    • Support and promote forums to bring exposure to learning technologies to our rangatahi.

Healthy communities

  • Advocate to remove barriers and fast-tracking in the health sector with a focus on local and migrant training:
    • Promote Māori and Pacific students to take health, science and maths-based subjects at secondary school
    • Support/advocate for initiatives that attract/retain Māori and Pacific students into careers and relevant internships within health
    • Support Māori into mentoring and leadership training
  • Promote for employer skill needs to be met in the health sector, especially in Kaiāwhina roles:
    • Identify learn-as-you-earn training and development opportunities to upskill Kaiāwhina noting the needs to be flexible, low-cost and close to home.