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Taranaki turns up the heat on overseas talent attraction

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Taranaki turns up the heat on overseas talent attraction

Taranaki’s economy is growing so strongly the region is getting proactive – and creative – in a bid to lure hundreds of skilled workers to the region.

Significant and ongoing expansion in the region’s energy, engineering and associated industries have meant that Taranaki’s companies are struggling to find the skilled workers they need to meet growth.

And that growth is strong. Economists BERL have found that the New Plymouth District leads the rest of New Zealand in terms of growth of business numbers, employment and GDP over the last five years.

To meet private sector growth Venture Taranaki - the region’s economic development agency – has launched a new campaign that seeks to attract back some of the nation’s ‘trades drain’ to the Australian market, and further afield.

The move positions Taranaki at the forefront of the fight to reverse the much publicised loss of New Zealand talent to the Australian labour market.

“Around New Zealand, 61 percent of long term departures are heading to Australia. Here in Taranaki that’s 73 percent in Taranaki, thanks to our strong energy sector and even stronger skills in that area. We are contending with Australian companies coming into the region to actively recruit our talented workers,” says Venture Taranaki chief executive Stuart Trundle.

“This campaign aims to ensure that Taranaki can continue to attract, secure, and retain the skilled workers necessary to meet the growth needs of our region’s companies.”

There are two main strands to the campaign, which aims to lure the nation’s expats home, encourage Kiwi Fly In Fly Out workers on international contracts to consider Taranaki when they get sick of flying in and out.

The region will connect with expats through an animated video on Taranaki, starring former local lad and top New Zealand Comedian, Ben Hurley. The video combines the humour of Hurley with Taranaki’s stunningly scenic attributes to showcase the region as the ideal place to live and work.

The video is intended to bump Taranaki ‘up the list’ of places to live and work amongst ex-pats and present Taranaki as a remaining bastion of the New Zealand we all remember and skite about.

The FIFO aspect of the campaign aims to ensure that Taranaki-based FIFO workers do not relocate permanently to Australia, and encourage global FIFO workers to consider Taranaki as a lifestyle base for families and as a professional destination for the time when FIFO loses its appeal.

The campaign will be rolled out in Perth in October 2012, followed by Queensland in 2013, with supporting digital and social media promotions. Perth is the main location for transition to work for WA for FIFO workers.

“By attracting FIFO workers and their families to Taranaki we are seeking to mitigate the risk of permanently losing skills from New Zealand and Taranaki, and counter recent Australian tourism campaigns encouraging FIFO families to spend their down time visiting Australian destinations rather than returning home.”

The campaign is an extension of Taranaki’s ‘Swap Sides’ campaign which was launched ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2011, with the goal of getting people to consider Taranaki’s great lifestyle. The Swap Sides campaign remains effective, particularly in the UK markets, and is supported by more than 600 of the region’s employers.

© Scoop Media

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