Waikato Labour Market Strategy

The Labour Market Strategy explores ways to ensure that businesses can attract, develop and retain the skills they need to grow, along with aiming to increase the levels of literacy and numeracy and educational attainment in our youth and workforce.

This 2019 Strategy arises from the work of the Waikato Regional Labour Market Group, a collaborative network of key stakeholders from business, community, education and government sectors engaged together in labour market issues in recent years. Initially working in concert with the prototype economic development agency, Waikato Means Business, the Labour Market Group has been committed to supporting regional initiatives, seeking a greater understanding of labour market issues and collaborating to identify alignment opportunities.

Now with the creation of Te Waka the opportunity to recognise labour market development efforts as part of the region’s overarching Economic Development Strategy has driven this review of the group’s original 2014 Strategy. 

This 2019 Strategy aims to inform the priorities of Te Waka in their efforts to bring about stronger regional connections and collaborations, and to develop action-focused, sector-led initiatives in areas such as vocational skills, education, and employment.

Te Waka and Ministry of Social Development have entered into a partnership to implement the Regional Labour Market Strategy with Tuahu Watene working two days a week with Te Waka to lead the labour market working group and with support from some of his MSD team will work with businesses in the region's priority sectors to map labour market needs and improve the pipelines of employees to ensure they are better matched for the available jobs.

“I am really looking forward to driving the implementation of the labour market strategy, the Ministry of Social Development partnership with Te Waka means we are now resourced to move this forward and make a difference for our young people and others coming into the job market”  Said Tuahu.

One of the first actions for Te Waka in leading the Labour market strategy has been a submission as part of the consultation process for Governments Reform of Vocational Training.

With the future of vocational training critical to economic growth the submission outlined what a successful reform would achieve from the Waikato’s perspective;

Vocational education and training is available in the Waikato to give youth far better local educational development and training options, instead of feeling the need to travel away;

Vocational education and training options meet the current and future needs of the Waikato;
Employer needs are heard and met;

The education provider is enabled to be very responsive to regional priority sectors, skills and training needs

The parts of the system that are currently working well are retained and integrated, not dismantled;

Decision-making points and processes not only ensure that programmes are fit for purpose from an industry perspective, but also that they reflect pedagogical best practice and are future focused;

The new system does not just add another layer of management;

The transition does not detract from successful front-line delivery for existing students.

Another key area of work will be in the region's priority sectors like the construction sector ensuring the employment pipelines are there to meet industry needs.

Read the full strategy here