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Increasing difficulty finding un/skilled staff

Media Release

Chamber members confirm increasing difficulty

finding skilled and unskilled staff

Auckland businesses reinforce the latest findings that New Zealand is facing severe skills gaps that threaten to stifle the Government’s policy programme aimed at increasing economic growth.

Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, was commenting on a Bank of New Zealand survey finding that businesses are experiencing increased difficulties in recruiting both skilled and unskilled staff.

“The BNZ survey confirms the trend of Chamber member surveys showing the difficulty of finding skilled staff has been gradually getting worse over the past two years, and is now extending to include unskilled as well,” said Mr Barnett.

The Chamber’s September survey of Auckland region businesses revealed 39% of respondents are finding recruiting skilled staff harder than three months ago. In the two previous surveys in June and March, 37% and 36% of respondents indicated that they were finding it harder to locate skilled staff.

The Chamber survey reinforces that finding skilled staff is becoming increasingly difficult in all areas of the economy:

- In trades, 69% of respondents in September said it is harder to recruit skilled staff, compared to 63% in the June survey this year and 47% in the August 2001 survey.

- In manufacturing, 51% in September said it was harder to recruit skilled staff compared to 47% in June and 39% in August 2001;

- In tourism and hospitality, 41% in September said they were finding it harder to recruit skilled staff compared to 37% in June.

“I don’t want to be overly pessimistic, but the trends confirming a worsening shortage of skilled and unskilled staff revealed in these and other business surveys shows that the previous Labour-led Government made no impact whatsoever.

“Coupling the findings of the BNZ and Chamber surveys, it is very obvious that the Government has a lot of work ahead if it is serious about boosting economic growth.” Previous Chamber offers to work with Government to overcome the skilled and unskilled shortages stand, he concluded.


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