Skills / Workforce Overview

The WEDS Forum commissioned HenleyHutchings to develop a Workforce Development Plan and established the “Wairarapa Skills Leadership Group (WSLG)” for our region, the Plan was completed August 2020.

The Wairarapa Skills Leadership Group is a collective of our local sectors, educators, community/organisations, and government representatives coming together to work towards building a workforce that better meets the needs of our region while growing our people into the future.

The Group is chaired by Renee Hogg, the founder of Inside New Zealand Limited. The Group now oversees the implementation of this work programme, led by our sectors. The Group meets approximately every eight weeks.

The WSLG currently has seven sector sub-committees to respond to our focus areas - construction, healthcare, manufacturing, Māori business, primary, technology, and tourism/hospitality. These groups are made up of local leaders in their industries to better inform, coordinate and create direct connections with education providers, recruitment/community agencies and employees.

If you would like to learn more about the WSLG and sub-committees, please contact the Project Coordinator, Natasha (Tash) Kyd via the options below.

Photo by Jet Productions

Wairarapa Workforce Action Plan

Wairarapa has the ability to really THRIVE. To achieve this, all sectors need to work together to increase the number of people working here by 2,000 before 2030. That’s a real challenge, but we can do it!

The Wairarapa Skills Leadership Group (WSLG) and sectors have developed an Action Plan designed so that sectors, employers, educators, and agencies can work together with support from the WSLG, to grow our sectors and bolster our economy for the future. To keep up to date with what the groups are working on, check out our latest news or contact the Project Coordinator, Natasha (Tash) Kyd via the options below.

What success looks like for us

Not only do we need to increase the number of people in Wairarapa’s workforce, we also to enhance skills, ensure relevant skills are available and build a workforce well-aligned with the directions outlined in the WEDS refresh. We will measure our success by creating Wairarapa-flavoured working and learning experiences. We will:

Create better collaboration across our educators, sectors, employers, and supporting organisations.
Decrease our NEET rates by increasing the number of 15 to 24-year-olds in employment, education, or training.
Increase the number of employed, therefore seeing a reduction in unemployment rates.
Support or retain our over 65-year-olds who wish or need to work and count them in local statistics.
Increase our vocational employees’ skills to meet and, where possible, exceed national average.
A greater understanding of possible Wairarapa employment pathways.

Our focus areas

From the work commissioned and in listening to our communities, there are five key focus areas for support to meet the challenge. The members of the Wairarapa Skills Leadership Group, the sectors, and communities they support, will drive improvements in the focus areas. Their efforts will be supported by other agencies where appropriate.

All people within our communities will be given new opportunities to participate in growing the Wairarapa economy in ways which align with their values, skills, and passions. This may need to be done using innovative and more collaborative ways of working, and in ways which reduce or remove barriers for local people.

Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy, learning opportunities
Learning opportunities
Successful regions generally have two or three areas in which they excel.
  • Adequate education/training opportunities – ensure that offerings meet industry needs for growth. This will mean people moving into our businesses are equipped with the skillsets needed to be successful.
  • Taster experiences – many, especially inexperienced people, do not know what they want to do in terms of occupation. Expanding taster experience programmes through working opportunities such as a Wairarapa GAP-year could help them navigate their options and find their passion.
  • Te Pukenga launch – the refreshed vocational training offering under Te Pukenga branding offers learning opportunities that are co-designed with local industry needs centred at the UCOL campus in Masterton for our region.
Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy, great workplaces
Great workplaces
Successful regions generally have two or three areas in which they excel.
  • Strengthen employers’ skills to be more aware of employee needs, have a strong values base which enables employees to contribute their best work, and make it easy to attract and retain new employees. Employers will encourage employees to innovate and understand sustainable growth and build change from that base.
  • Skilled employers – ensuring our business owners and operators enabled to hire additional resources by knowing how to lead their people, support staff through teaching, mentoring, motivating, and providing meaningful leadership.
Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy, learner support
Learner support
Successful regions generally have two or three areas in which they excel.
  • Flexible training and work offerings – we have more opportunities for our people to be supported to learn while they earn.
  • Stronger connections between our businesses and schools – a useful presence within schools to actively promote our local sectors and understand schools’ needs. This will provide learners with more expansive post-school options, such as furthering education or moving directly into the workforce.
  • Provision of pastoral care / support – providing our people with better support as they transition from education to employment and at various stages throughout their career.
  • Understand the needs of families, whanau and communities who support new employees in our local workforce, so that they can offer the help that is needed, when it is needed. Provide support that incorporates family contributions to employee success.
Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy, role model leadership
Role model/leadership
Successful regions generally have two or three areas in which they excel.
  • Role models – having our sectors identify local people to inspire our people, particularly inexperienced or new workers to encourage them to pursue opportunities in an industry of their choice. This will help create a visual connection between success, community status, and employment that they tend to lean toward. By creating role models, new workers will see tangible success stories locally, a reason to stay in the region growing the vibrancy of our communities.
  • Sector leadership – we have strong sector groups which are led by local operators who are committed to strengthening the interests of the respective sectors. This will result in our sectors having a collective voice in shaping and delivering opportunities. This includes associated infrastructure to support businesses and the workforce such as accommodation and transport.
  • Co-operative arrangements – our sector leadership identifies areas for common training and development that could be combined with other sectors to create scale and maximise available resources, such as health and safety, or management.
Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy, progression & celebration
Progression & celebration
Successful regions generally have two or three areas in which they excel.
  • Ease of achievement recognition –sectors and/or industries have a set of formal and informal training or recognition options that are regularly reviewed and adapted to be relevant. This will enable options for all our workforce to participate in training or gaining recognition of achievement as they progress through their working lives.
  • Pathways and progression – our people moving into employment have sufficient pastoral care as they navigate into a pathway and are aware of their options for progression at various stages of their working lives.

Sector Groups

Coming soon; sector group connections.

Get in touch…

Want to get in touch with the people in the know…

Get in touch…

Want to get in touch with the people in the know…

Photo by Larissa Wiegman-Peeterse