The service sector is a large and important part of our economy. I know this because every day in some shape or form I access a product or service produced by this sector, and I am not alone in this habit. If you eat out, work out, have your Nana cared for, or get your hair cut on a regular basis then chances are you also regularly purchase or use a product or service produced by the service sector. This is why in the year to March 2016 the sector contributed $47.8 billion to GDP, which is approximately 22% of New Zealand’s total production of goods and services.
The service sector currently accounts for one-third of all employment in New Zealand, and this proportion is set to grow.
This is because employment growth in the service sector is largely driven by the ongoing purchase of goods and services we use in daily life, our focus on our health and wellbeing, and our growing and ageing population. It is also driven by a surge in the number of people who are visiting New Zealand, which has propelled tourism to the top of the export-earner ladder.
However, employment growth is only one part of the story. The service sector also needs a well-qualified workforce. At Your Service Aotearoa is a collaboration between four industry training organisations that provide workplace training across the service sector. These ITOs are ServiceIQ, Skills Active, Careerforce, and the Hair and Beauty Industry Training Organisation (HIO).
The purpose of this collaboration is to optimise the link between the supply of people ready and available to work, and the demand for a well-qualified workforce. At Your Service Aotearoa has various levers that the ITOs use to provide new entrants to the industry with training, to upskill the existing workforce, and to progress people into higher paid roles or new positions within their company or sector.
At Your Service Aotearoa also has existing relationships with industry, employers and employees. They have the ability and expertise to train people – now they need support from funding bodies and government to make that training happen. This is why the service sector ITOs are urging action on training - to ensure the right people have the right skills to meet the needs of employers, the service sector and our economy.
A report commissioned by At Your Service Aotearoa will be launched at Parliament by the Hon Paul Goldsmith Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment on Wednesday 3 May 2017. Copies of this report will be available from this date.