There’s a skill shortage looming in the service industry that’s going to affect all New Zealanders, across all regions, and visitors to our country.

“Without scaremongering, there’s a very real crisis around the corner. It puts our successful service sectors at risk, and unless things change soon, New Zealand will be worse for it,” said Dean Minchington, CEO for ServiceIQ, Industry Training Organisation for the tourism, hospitality, aviation, retail and retail supply chain and museum industries.

It’s a shortage of skilled labour needed to fill around 200,000 jobs that will be opening in the next two and a half years, according to the latest At Your Service Aotearoa economic report. Most of this is due to extraordinary exponential growth across sectors that include tourism, hospitality, retail and aviation.

ServiceIQ is calling on all politicians, both central government and local to work together to change things for the better. Minchington says the Government’s new investment of $50 million to help the most at-risk young people in regional New Zealand into jobs is to be applauded, and there’s a strong alignment between this initiative and the manifesto addressing the service sector skills shortage recently released by At Your Service Aotearoa.

ServiceIQ is already involved with many organisations and working in partnership to address this major issue.

“A good example is the AccorHotels and Ministry of Social Development’s Building Futures programme. This gives beneficiaries the opportunity to undertake pre-employment training and begin a fast-track to gaining a nationally-recognised ServiceIQ hospitality qualification. This is part of the AccorHotels pledge to play a part in combating youth unemployment, and it’s a perfect fit with our challenge to elected officials, government departments and employers to act.