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NZ Needs 40,000 More Staff by 2028!


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There is a growing need for skilled workers in New Zealand's manufacturing and engineering sectors, and women are critical to filling the gap.

Hanga-Aro-Rau, New Zealand's Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics Workforce Development Council, warns that New Zealand's manufacturing and engineering sectors will face a shortage of 40,000 workers by 2028.

The effects of COVID-19 and immigration policy settings have caused widespread economic disruption. These effects have been worsened by constraints on supply chains and labour availability.

"Historically, around a quarter of skilled labour needs in manufacturing and engineering are met by migrants. By 2028, we will need 463,000 workers in key regions around the country. However, based on current trends, a skills shortfall of over 40,000 is set to constrain future manufacturing output." - Phil Alexander-Crawford, chief executive of Hanga-Aro-Rau.

Current estimations put the workforce capability and capacity gap at up to 17,000 manufacturing roles and 12,000 engineering roles, with this increasing unless we see a drastic change. Several ideas have been floated to help reduce the skills shortage.

It's seen as essential to increase the employment rate of groups disproportionately underrepresented at all levels of the manufacturing and engineering sectors—such as women and disabled workers. Investment in technology and improvements in labour productivity and upskilling will help. Upskilling current workers is important too—if employers are having a hard time hiring experienced workers, an option is to make sure their current workers can take on those roles. Ultimately, without additional immigration, the domestic workforce won't be able to meet the needs of employers. 

The manufacturing sector is an important contributor to New Zealand's economy. As such, the prospect of labour shortages in this sector has significant implications for New Zealand. 

It will be difficult to fill vacant positions through existing methods. In other words, the skills shortage isn't going away any time soon, and businesses have to find a way to work with what they've got until they can hire new people. 

You can read the full report by Hanga-Aro-Rau here. Or, check out our current vacancies to see if you can help fill a gap!

NZ Needs 40,000 More Staff by 2028!
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