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Skills Workforce Development

In 2020, the WEDS Forum commissioned HenleyHutchings to develop a Workforce Development Plan for the Wairarapa which was completed August 2020. The Wairarapa Regional Skills Leadership Group (WRSLG) was established, a subset of the Wellington Regional Skills Leadership Group, to work with our local industries and educators towards building a workforce that better meets the needs of our region into the future.


The WRSLG has appointed Paul Southey as Chair of the group for 2022. Paul is supported by Pattie O'Boyle who represents the Wairarapa in the Wellington Regional Skills Leadership Group membership. The WRSLG have commissioned HenleyHutchings to refresh the 2020 Workforce Plan and will oversee the implementation of this work programme when it is released in May 2022. The WRSLG meet approximately every eight weeks.

The WRSLG have created six industry sector sub-committees based on the 2020 recommended focus areas - construction, healthcare, manufacturing, primary, technology/professional services, and tourism/hospitality. These groups are made up of local leaders in their industries to better inform, coordinate and create direct connections with education providers, recruitment/community agencies and employees.

If you would like to learn more about the WRSLG and sub-committees, please contact the Project Coordinator, Natasha (Tash) Kyd, on 0220 11 69 79 or

2020 Wairarapa Workforce Recommended Focus Areas

  • Strengthen primary sector training – to have Wairarapa people training for Wairarapa jobs (responding to replacement rather than growth) and Wairarapa people replacing lost migrants. There is a need for reskilling and upskilling, as well as entry training.

  • Strengthen construction training – to assist with transport and infrastructure projects that will be funded by Government. Also, to respond to residential building driven by population increase.

  • Strengthen business training at all levels – to help the recovery of small businesses, minimise losses in the manufacturing sector and build new businesses in the added-value food sector.

  • Develop health and related services – continue and potentially expand training to supply health facilities, particularly aged care, and replace loss of immigrant labour in this sector.

  • Strengthen technology training - for application in business and in the delivery of health and education services to remote parts of the region.

  • Strengthen tertiary training in Wairarapa generally – to absorb the inevitable increase in unemployment, to change the unskilled/semi-skilled profile of the area and to use the COVID-19 period to improve skills across the board.

  • Strengthen learner support in the school to learning/work transition and the tertiary learning to work transition to ensure learners have positive experiences.

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