New Zealand boosts funding into tourism workforce

The investment comes ahead of anticipated pressure on the workforce due to border reopening

New Zealand boosts funding into tourism workforce

The New Zealand government is investing $2 million to the Go with Tourism initiative in a bid boost the tourism and hospitality workforce ahead of expected pressure in the sector following the full reopening of national borders.

Go with Tourism is an initiative that connects jobseekers with employers through career expos and secondary-school education programmes across the country.

The investment for the initiative will cover a 12-month period from October 2022 and will allow it to expand its workstreams that connect jobseekers with employers. It comes ahead of an anticipated pressure on tourism and hospitality workers following the full reopening of borders to international visitors, according to Tourism Minister Stuart Nash.

"Today's extra funding to Go with Tourism is one of many ways our government is supporting the sector through this time," said the minister in a statement. "This investment will be vital in building the tourism workforce back up and is the latest addition to a suite of measures our government has introduced to support the tourism sector over the past two years."

Read more: Staff shortages cost tourism industry millions

Heidi Gillingham, programme director of Go with Tourism, said the investment will help the initiative continue its free-of-charge services to assist employers, educators, and jobseekers across New Zealand.

"The next 12 months' worth of talent attraction is what we have been gearing up for since we launched in 2019," said the director in a statement.

"With this funding, the industry can be assured that a dedicated and well-prepared team will lead the way in tackling workforce challenges and doing our utmost to fill tourism and hospitality roles in both the short and long term."

The new investment awarded to Go with Tourism is the latest support from the government over the past two years.

Nash said that the government previously extended a $400-million Tourism Recovery Package, a $200-million Tourism Communities Plan, and a $54-million Innovation Programme for Tourism Recovery for the sector.

"This funding went to tourism operators most affected by the border closure and has helped them to gear up for the return of international visitors," said the tourism minister.

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