Infometrics Senior Economist Shaun Twaddle is actively involved with Got a Trade? and the industry training organisations that manage this campaign. Shaun has worked extensively with tertiary education providers, industry training organisations, industry associations and bodies focussing on understanding the issues around workforce development, current and future workforce demands and the supply of skilled labour.
We chat with Shaun in our regular feature “A day in the life of an Economist” and ask him about his work and particular about the Got a Trade? campaign.
The construction sector experienced strong employment growth over the past five years and we expect this strong growth to continue throughout the next few years. Between March 2011 and March 2016, employment in core construction grew by 26%, compared with just 7.5% employment growth across the rest of the economy. Looking at regional data, it’s no surprise where that employment growth in the construction sector has occurred. Auckland and Canterbury each contributed over 40% of the lift in employment, with the rest of the country responsible for just 15% of the new jobs created.
The services industry is a key component of New Zealand’s economy, employing about 400,000 people or 18% of all workers in New Zealand. It relies heavily on young people with 30% of workers aged 15-24. Many of these young people work part time, often to fit work around other commitments like school or tertiary study. Some of these young workers stay on in the sector to become experts in their field, like world renowned chef Josh Emett while others stay for a short period of time, like I did, and learn valuable transferable people skills that can be used in other aspects of their working lives.
Bill English’s eighth Budget was a pretty boring event for policy and economic buffs out there, with an expanding economy ensuring growth in the overall tax take outstrips the lift in spending. National has long since set its ship on course, so the Budget was very much just a little tinkering around the edges. That being said, we did highlight a few issues we see specifically affecting our clients across the construction, transport, and education sectors, as well as in the regions.
Got a Trade? Got it Made! is a national campaign to raise awareness of training and career opportunities in New Zealand’s trades and services. It also celebrates the talents and achievements of young people making a headway in their chosen vocation. Got a Trade Week 2016 will take place from 22-26 August.
Tertiary study is an important part of many young people’s lives, mine included. It’s also an expensive part, requiring substantial funding from both the student and from the Government. But has the right balance been struck when it comes to the funding of tertiary students in New Zealand?
Every January and February, tertiary education organisations are in the media offering well-meaning advice to school leavers about their options, whilst subtly (or not in some instances) trying to lead these young people to study with them. This is often done by espousing the ‘student experience’ and the outcomes that each learner is likely to have once completed. This year was no different.
The Labour Party’s proposal for the government to pay for the first three years of tertiary education is overly generous, but it does have some merit…… though for different reasons than I imagine was the basis for Labour’s thinking.
Some have labelled Labour’s proposal as an electoral bribe but there are some sound economic arguments for government assistance in the provision of tertiary education and indeed these arguments might justify some movement in education policy in the direction suggested by Labour.