WHY A HIGHLY- SKILLED WORKFORCE IS CRITICAL FOR SUCCESS
ENSURING STAFF HAVE THE RIGHT SKILLS NOW AND IN THE FUTURE IS VITAL FOR THE SUSTAINABILITY, PRODUCTIVITY AND GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS OF NEW ZEALAND’S ENGINEERING INDUSTRY. Fiona Kingsford, Chief Executive of industry training organisation Competenz, says industrial changes, innovations and automation are changing the number and types of jobs in New Zealand and, more critically, the sort of knowledge and skills people in the industry need to develop. “We know that unqualified and low-skilled positions are predicted to have the highest probability of replacement by computerisation or machines. It’s challenging to keep up with the changes, let alone anticipate the workforce requirements to respond. “While employers may not be able to protect jobs from automation, we can collectively be responsible for protecting our people and preparing them for change through ongoing training and reskilling.” Infometrics data shows that 23,553 people were employed in mechanical engineering sector in 2016, which is 1.8% higher than 2015. Of those, 4,904 were medium to high-skilled professionals, 18,445 were medium-skilled technicians and trades workers, and 205 were low-skilled labourers.