The plan seeks to increase the region’s workforce capabilities and capacities by delving into the four critical sectors of forestry, horticulture, civil construction, and tourism (which includes hospitality and accommodation). Backing up those figures will be input from supporting industries, including transport and logistics, engineering, and construction.
A governance group comprising chairs from Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou, Rongawhakaata, and Te Rūnanga o Turanganui a Kiwa, along with representatives from Gisborne District Council, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Social Development, Trust Tairāwhiti and the four industry sectors will oversee the project.
The key goal is to understand the regional employment opportunities in key sectors and to identify the opportunities for local talent to have the skills to gain employment. Here in Tairāwhiti, we have some of the highest unemployment rates in New Zealand, with many vacancies holding back local opportunities.”
Pre-COVID-19 lockdown, there were an estimated 400-600 jobs available across the four sectors with projections that a further 1200 jobs forecast in the coming two years. That would come through the development of higher value horticulture production, the increase in forestry harvests, and the extended programme of civil roading and engineering construction underway. The tourism sector had earlier been showing faster growth than others but is expected to be adversely affected by COVID-19 for some time. This plan will help better understand the likely impact.
The first steps are to engage sector employers and agencies to help identify how the region can support the training and development of those not in employment or education to place them with suitable employers. In turn, this will contribute to wellbeing outcomes and intervene in a broken cycle. The intention is to nurture the talent we have toward new employment outcomes, which we understand to be a key component of personal and community wellbeing and business success.
The project is one of five under Council’s $23.76m Government package and part of a broader $100m national redeployment push.