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Talent gap holding Auckland back, tough love report finds

Skill shortages in engineering, digital and ICT expertise, food technology and food chemistry are key obstacles facing Auckland, according to a new report.

Skill shortages in engineering, digital and ICT expertise, food technology and food chemistry are key obstacles facing Auckland, according to a new report.

Fuelling our Economy: Auckland Workforce Skills from the Employers' Perspective, is released today by the Committee for Auckland – a group of senior Auckland leaders including corporate businesses, not for profits, local and central government agencies and tertiary institutions.

The Committee for Auckland, working alongside the Auckland Council and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, identified addressing skills issues as a major strategic priority for Auckland in order to support its vision of becoming the "world's most liveable city".

Significant gaps also appeared in professional management, particularly when looking for international, sales, or specialised large client marketing expertise, according to the report, which are restricting Auckland’s future growth and the earning potential of its workforce.

And in addition to core competencies, the skills study identified that non-cognitive or soft skills – were lacking across the Auckland workforce.

So what's behind the discrepancy?

The study says school leavers are not informed as to what skills the workforce requires, skilled immigrants lack New Zealand-relevant skills and expertise, research projects are not aligned with the needs of our economy and workforce forward planning is not conducted on a regional or industry level.

Chief executive for the Committee for Auckland, Heather Shotter, says developing a workforce with the right skills is arguably the most important priority for Auckland today.

"Internationally, cities like Sydney and Stockholm are dressing up their reputations to do battle for skilled immigrants,” she says.

Shotter says the study highlights that the movement of talent is a two-way street and says that Auckland needs to pick and choose the right talent to support its growing industries, just as other cities do.

A summary and the full report will be available online from today.