Our regular Quarterly Business Confidence Survey, sponsored by Bronze Partner, Red Hot Business Coaching & Consulting, consistently tells us labour shortages are a major challenge for our business community. These shortages hold businesses back.
For many years, the single biggest barrier to local business confidence has been the inability to hire skilled and unskilled staff.
While the economy was strong emerging from the COVID-19 Lockdown in 2020, closed borders and no access to NZ for immigrants brought these shortages to new levels and across different areas.
COVID-19 is expected to continue to deliver increasing unemployment among New Zealanders so government policies are very focussed on creating an environment where employers employ locals first.
Government has been steadily introducing a range of programmes to support this and these programmes include:
- the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE)
- attending to an increased need to support NEETs and Pre-NEETs as the education sector is disrupted by COVID-19
- increased funding for apprenticeships
- increased focus on supporting Maori and Pasifika
- shovel ready projects.
During 2021 it is expected that further programmes will be launched to support locals into employment.