A key element to economic growth is having a pipeline of people with the right skills and talents to meet the immediate and long-term workforce needs of industries. There has never been a more suitable time to ensure this need is met, especially with new investments made in the Manawatū-Whanganui region, national projects underway and the advent of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) programme.
To ensure we are putting our best foot forward, the Accelerate25 lead team set up a steering group to develop a framework and structure to facilitate a network of local working groups. These groups are able to review and advance the workforce priorities that are unique to their communities.
Membership of these local skills and talent groups are made up of representatives from local and central government, iwi, economic development agencies, schools and employers.
“The local groups are the powerhouse of the regional structure, it’s important that their work and focus on local workforce opportunities and challenges reflect the lives and people behind the data in their communities,” says Katie Brosnahan, Regional Commissioner – Ministry of Social Development Central Region.
The local skills and talent groups are supported by a Regional Working Group who will provide strategic leadership and support to progress local workforce priorities, and to ensure the investments by the PGF in the development of skills, talents and employment are cohesive and well-coordinated across our region.
The Regional Working Group is made up of representatives from each local working group, the Accelerate25 lead team and chief executives from UCOL and Talent Central. In establishing this group, it was important that representation on this forum reflected the various and diverse communities and stakeholders in the Manawatū-Whanganui Region.
“The regional working group is a critical enabler for our region,” says Ms Brosnahan.
“Addressing the immediate and future demand of our key industries and utilising significant investment opportunities in our region, will help to create career pathways for school leavers, tertiary students, NEET and unemployed jobseekers, including anyone else who is seeking employment opportunities in our communities.”
“We have an opportunity to create an economic growth that is inclusive and where people can participate and achieve social and economic outcomes.”
The first meeting of the Regional Working Group was held in Whanganui, in July. The meeting was about getting established and hearing from all the local groups about their initial thinking around progress on priorities, opportunities and challenges. This will enable the region to gain a picture of the common and unique challenges across the whole region in terms of skills and talent development.