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Remote Economy research shines light on local talent


Earlier this year, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) commissioned a survey on residents who earn their income from outside the district – our remote economy.

The aim of the Remote Economy research was to better understand this part of the local community and uncover potential opportunities to tap into their skillsets and help diversify the economy.

A summary of this research has now been released and can be viewed on the QLDC website: www.qldc.govt.nz/services/economic-development-projects.

Although only a small segment of this community took part in the research, the information gathered provides rich insight into this emerging part of our workforce.

QLDC Economic Development Manager Peter Harris advised the research was the first of the kind for New Zealand and he is pleased with the findings.

Key findings include:
• Expertise: Marketing, engineering, design, IT, education, and others.
• Income gathering: Three out of four make all their income outside the district
• Demographics: Average respondent 47 years old – evenly split between males and females.
• Travel: Almost two thirds travel regularly. Of those who travel, they spend on average 44 days away from the district each year, spending 65% of this time travelling internationally.
• Potential opportunities: One in three remote workers see potential to grow a team locally, and one in two either want to start a new business or support others launching a start-up.
“Remote working is an emerging trend, particularly for a destination like ourselves. This research has confirmed there is a deep and diverse pool of highly skilled people working remotely here with a desire to connect. This is the gold our district hasn’t mined yet,” said Mr Harris.

The next phase in the Remote Economy work includes connecting remote workers with the aim of bringing together similar interests, businesses, and skillsets, and to test how they could contribute to growing well-paying local roles. A facilitator has been contracted by QLDC for this and they will work alongside remote workers for the next three months.

“I am looking forward to seeing how this group can support not only each other, but other businesses in our community too,” Mr Harris added.

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