According to New Zealand’s Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Michael Woodhouse, the strong and growing NZ job market provides great opportunities to get more Kiwis into life-long careers.
Woodhouse, along with Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister, Steven Joyce, recently released the 2016 update of the ‘Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces’ chapter of the Business Growth Agenda, which contains 55 current and 12 new initiatives to build sustainable careers and grow productivity in NZ.
“The NZ economy has added 35,000 more jobs in the last quarter alone,” said Joyce. “We now have the second highest employment rate in the entire OECD.”
Woodhouse added: “The Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces work program is vital to the modern New Zealand economy. By strengthening our employment and workplace health and safety regulatory systems, we will increase the productivity of New Zealand and our labour force participation.”
Some of the 12 new initiatives include working with university business schools to introduce entrepreneurship courses, and driver licensing initiatives to ensure employers have access to the labour force they need, and to increase the work-readiness of young people.
One of the initiatives is the new Sector Workforce Engagement Program – designed to improve employers’ access to skilled local workers. It works with employers in particular sectors and regions where there are skill shortages, and brings more young people and those on benefits into not just a job but a long-term career.
The updated ‘Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces’ chapter builds on the 33 projects that the government has already completed over the past two years in the skills section of the BGA.
There have been some notable successes, including a 33% increase in students enrolled in IT qualifications between 2008 and 2015, and the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training scheme growing to 2,400 places in 2016, up from 1,900 in 2015Steven Joyce – Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister