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Attraction and Retention


The limited availability of workforce data posed challenges for the services sector in attracting talent, causing frustration among participants trying to effectively address the shortage. Sector representatives noted barriers to the representation of Māori and Pacific Peoples, thereby highlighting the sector's responsibility to actively cultivate an inclusive environment for these communities. Moreover, the absence of clearly defined career pathways and limited awareness further hindered the attraction of new talent, thus impacting students' decision-making.

In response to these challenges, sector representatives recommended involving Iwi for solutions and driving change, underscoring the importance of proactively communicating, ensuring data accessibility, and offering support to Māori and Pacific communities. The need to enhance education, clarify career trajectories, and raise awareness of diverse talent was also strongly emphasised. The perception of specific professions as more desirable created an obstacle in diversifying the workforce.

Despite the growing Māori and Pacific Peoples population, the sector lacked a comprehensive understanding of its own underrepresentation in the workforce. Representatives pointed out the lack of engagement with Māori perspectives and identified a disconnect between the sector and Māori communities. To attract and retain Māori and Pacific Peoples, sector leaders stressed the active importance of establishing an appealing and inclusive workplace, prioritising mental health, actively promoting work-life balance, and consistently providing support and mentorship. The significance of individual self-awareness in questioning privilege and bias was also highlighted.

To increase the representation of Māori and Pacific Peoples in the workforce, the sector should concentrate on grassroots efforts, implement outreach programmes, and initiate initiatives like "Inspiring the Future" to actively raise awareness about career opportunities within the sector.

"We are not seeing young Māori, we are not seeing young Pacifica coming through the training institutions, and we are concerned about that. Where are our Māori youth? Why aren’t they choosing architectural design as a career, what are the barriers for them?"

"We must explore ways to grow our local talent as our reliance on international talent increases. However, we need to be cautious and selective in response to immigration changes and government policies in this area."

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