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Service sector facing massive shortage

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/05/2017

Well-qualified service workers are in high demand and another 200,000 are needed in the next three years, a report launched at Parliament on Wednesday says.

The report was carried out by research company BERL on behalf of four industry training organisations - ServiceIQ, Careerforce, Skills Active Aotearoa and HITO - that represented sectors such as health and beauty, aged care, retail, tourism, hospitality and sport and recreation.

It said the service sector, which covered 29 per cent of the New Zealand workforce, will need an estimated 200,000 workers by 2020 as people leave and new jobs are created, and as tourism-related services faced pressure due to rising international visitor numbers.

BERL also drew attention to the growing demand for care and support workers as the population aged and the trend for care to move out of hospitals and closer to people's homes continued, along with a growth in outdoor and fitness activities.

"There is a need for a cohesive and integrated vocational education system that offers opportunities for school leavers and the existing workforce," the report says.

Students, skilled migrants and those on working holidays only fill short-term gaps, according to BERL.

The report was launched at Parliament on Wednesday by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Paul Goldsmith.

In the year to March 2016, the service sector contributed $47.8 billion to the country's GDP.

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