A new report on the service industry notes that ‘without these people our health and safety, and sense of national wellbeing, would be profoundly compromised.’ It also notes that another 200,000 workers will be needed in the service sectors between now and 2020 – already a $48 billion dollar industry. Despite this size, the service sector and its workforce is rarely seen as a critical cog in the nation’s economic growth.

“This introduces the risk of skills shortages, reduced productivity, and impacts on both businesses and the customers they serve,” says ServiceIQ chief executive Dean Minchington.  “Whether you’re from overseas or a local, you expect and deserve great service at retailers, hotels, attractions and restaurants, bars and cafés. The service sector adds value to everyone, whether on holiday or not, by providing great customer service and memorable experiences.”

The concern comes from ensuring the service sector has the right mix of trained and skilled people, with many people think that up-skilling and training programmes leading to qualifications are for young people straight from school.

The strong performance and projected growth is good news for the economy and especially for the regional New Zealand, with MBIE identifying the need to disperse visitors across all regions.