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Planning to keep our workers

25 October 2002 Media statement

Planning to keep our workers


New Zealand needs to plan now to keep our young workers in New Zealand because serious labour shortages are ahead, Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton told Wanganui-Rangitikei-Ruapehu Councils and iwi leaders today.

The Wanganui-Rangitikei-Ruapehu Regional Development Plan was signed today by regional Mayors and Iwi representatives who are all committing to building the local economies.

While more jobs and businesses are needed Jim Anderton warned that in future there will be fewer and fewer young workers.

“In the next five years 75 million workers are going to leave the OECD workforce and they will be replaced by only 5 million workers.

“People who speak English are likely to have an advantage in OECD countries and New Zealand young people, well educated, hard working and innovative will be highly sought after.

“With an ageing population young workers are going to be able to choose where they live, where they work, and probably how much they should be paid.

“If we want to keep our economy moving and not lose the best and the brightest we need to start creating opportunities now.

“This regional development plan provides an excellent foundation for building the local economic base and it will build fulfilling jobs for young people.

“I applaud all of your efforts and your work in putting aside years of separate development. Special thanks should go to Wanganui Mayor Chas Poynter for his work in nuturing the consultation and development processes and to all participants including the 12 iwi and 3 District Councils,” said Jim Anderton.

ENDS

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