Restaurant Association to Join Regional Skills Leadership Group

The Government is establishing 15 independent Regional Skills Leadership Groups to better manage changing skills and workforce needs in New Zealand’s regions and cities and to support the recovery of labour markets. Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association has been appointed to the Auckland Regional Skills Leadership Group.

“COVID-19 has made it necessary to reset the employee pathway,” explained Bidois.

“This means investing in hospitality apprenticeships and further training fit for purpose whilst also refining our immigration policy needs. Being part of this group will give our industry an important seat at the table when it comes to planning our employment pathways.”

The Groups feature regional industry leaders, economic development agencies, and iwi, worker and government representatives, who will contribute their knowledge and local expertise. They will be supported by a team of data analysts, policy advisors and workforce specialists.

“These Groups were planned before the arrival of COVID-19 as part of a joined-up approach to labour market planning which will see our workforce, education and immigration systems working together to better meet the differing skills needed across the country,” said Employment Minister Willie Jackson.

“Initially the Groups will be the eyes and ears on the ground, supporting the immediate response to the regional labour market impact arising from Covid-19. They will bring a local leadership voice and common view identifying workforce and skills needs in their region, both now and in the future, and advise on actions to cultivate these.”

For their first year, the Groups will be set up on an interim, one-year basis with a swift appointment process, and a mandate to gather local intelligence that supports the COVID-19 response.

Government agencies will be advised by the Groups on the labour market situation in the regions. In the longer term the Groups will actively work with their communities and deliver workforce plans to ensure the regions have the right skills and workforce planning to seize local economic opportunities.

The Groups will work closely with local and national initiatives including six Workforce Development Councils (WDCs). WDCs will focus on industry-specific training needs across all of New Zealand while Skills Leadership Groups will offer a regional perspective on skills needs.