Service Sectors Set up for Success

Bruce Robertson, ServiceIQ Board Chair and Jamie Williams, Ringa Hora Council Member

The future for Aotearoa’s service sectors is a little brighter as Industry Training Organisation ServiceIQ has transferred $3 million to Ringa Hora, the new Services Workforce Development Council. The fund is for industry-led workforce and skills development projects in hospitality, tourism, retail, aviation, and travel. 

In addition, ServiceIQ’s substantial body of past work in this area – including the major Hinonga Kōkiri / Head Start project – has been gifted. Ringa Hora is thrilled with the generous endowment.

“These gifts from ServiceIQ help Ringa Hora address a shared agenda of mahi that we may not have been able to progress otherwise,” commented Council Chair, Hinerangi Edwards.

“We look forward to working together with industry representatives to develop greater concepts and actions and are excited to embark on our journey with the head start that this research and fund has afforded us. As a publicly funded industry led organisation, our customer base is broad indeed and we are determined to listen and deliver. 

“We are charged in legislation and Te Tiriti o Waitangi to understand the needs of our sectors regarding to their current and future workforces, use resources wisely, and to think about all New Zealanders and their right to a meaningful career.” 

Bruce Robertson, Board Chair for ServiceIQ, noted that many people underestimate the value these sectors bring to the nation’s economy and individual’s lives. 

“These sectors contribute 17 percent to the country’s GDP – that’s $57 billion – generated from 653,000 jobs, which is 25 percent of all jobs in the country. While those numbers are down on 2019, they will grow again and are predicted to be as high, and probably higher, by 2025. 

“As with many other industries in New Zealand, COVID has had a big impact and employers and their staff are hurting. There is, however, opportunity to recover and, at the same time, do things better in the future. ServiceIQ has recognised that, and it is with this in mind that these taonga of existing knowledge and funds have been transferred to Ringa Hora. We have also established a structure that ensures the future work on industry skills needs is in full collaboration with the associations and bodies that represent employers in the sectors ServiceIQ has represented since 2013.” 

Industry associations on board:

  • Aviation NZ 

“New aircraft designs, different components/construction materials, improved efficiencies, and new engine/fuel types will require updated and new operational and maintenance skills. We look forward to understanding the challenges of these developments with Ringa Hora so that our education and training system provides the skills to ensure future growth for the aviation sector,” noted Chief Executive, John Nicholson.

  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa

“These funds could not have come at a better time to contribute to the recovery of the tourism industry. Tourism employers are facing severe workforce shortages. This investment will deliver strong benefits and TIA looks forward to building our relationship with the new WDC Ringa Hora as we work together on this initiative,” commented Advocacy and Engagement Manager, Steve Hanrahan.

  • Restaurant Association of New Zealand

“This contribution to our sector welcomed. We thank ServiceIQ and its board for their foresight in how this has been approached and look forward to ensuring this contribution goes towards a project or initiative that positively impacts as many in the industry as possible,” said Chief Executive, Marisa Bidois.

Challenging but Bright Future

ServiceIQ has made this happen because its Board and industry Members believe it is vital that the skills and workforce development mahi it carried out over many years should continue. With the government’s Reform of Vocational Education, the responsibility for fit-for-purpose qualifications and systems sits with Workforce Development Councils. By gifting to Ringa Hora both the completed Hinonga Kokiri work and funding for more, the service sectors, its employers, employees, and ultimately all New Zealanders as its customers, will benefit. 

The formal handover was at a special ceremony with guests from service sector industry bodies, the Tertiary education Commission, Ringa Hora and ServiceIQ.