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Labour Shortages and Skills Shortages


Sector representatives reported feeling overwhelmed by the demand for work and struggling to keep up, largely due to a shortage of skilled workers, indicating a larger workforce issue. The sector faced challenges in finding graduates who were ready to enter and contribute effectively.

The underrepresentation of young Māori and Pacific Peoples raised concerns, and the sector aimed to gain public recognition and expand its influence with more staff. Businesses within the sector struggled to attract applicants for open roles, extending to various sub-sectors. Smaller organisations operated at maximum capacity, pushing existing staff to their limits.

The sector saw school leavers and career changers as key sources of potential workers to fill gaps. Addressing workforce shortages required actively focusing on cultivating domestic talent and acknowledging the impact of immigration changes and government policies on skilled worker availability.

The shortage of mid-career workers was linked to declining immigration, affecting senior management levels, and leading to overworked representatives with competing priorities. There was a particular shortage of skilled planners, resulting in delays in decision-making and the potential for poor quality planning decisions.

The sector's main challenge was a shortage of workers at various skill levels, especially at the mid-career level, attributed to changes in immigration policies limiting the influx of skilled workers to New Zealand. The sector experienced significant labour and skill shortages, making it challenging to find qualified employees, especially at the senior level.

Addressing labour and skill shortages was crucial for maintaining a continuous pipeline of skilled professionals and ensuring the quality of work during challenging times. Efforts were needed to actively mentor and train new graduates to maintain industry standards.

"Our members report being overwhelmed by demand and not being able to keep up. There’s a massive labour shortage and we need to find solutions to address it."

"Getting staff is a challenge for us. The labour pool is small, and everyone is familiar with each other, making it difficult to approach someone from another company, as it may not be considered ethical. As a result, our options are limited to hiring new people locally or bringing in individuals from overseas."

" The sector's high demand has made obtaining competitive tenders for projects increasingly challenging. This is compounded by a shortage of skilled labour, which creates difficulties in finding suitable applicants for various roles."

"We are witnessing a significant surge in the associate category of the institute due to an ongoing shortage of qualified planners. Employers are opting to hire individuals they believe they can train on the job rather than waiting for them to complete formal qualifications."

"What's posing a challenge is the scarcity of planners, resulting in a higher potential for subpar planning decisions and extended decision-making timeframes."

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