Nigel Davenport says one of the biggest challenges for the region is retaining workers.
The central government significantly increased funding for the Timaru District Economic Development Agency and Regional Tourism Organization in the past fiscal year, according to its annual report.
A report to be presented by Venture Timaru CEO Nigel Davenport at the Timaru District Council meeting on Tuesday shows support from central government increased operational income by $ 857,000 in 2019/20 to 3 , $ 2 million in fiscal year 2020/21.
In the report, Davenport says an after-tax year-end profit was $ 49,885.
Government money included $ 4 million for a regional apprenticeship initiative to fund up to 100 new local apprentices also encompassing Mid-Canterbury and North Otago, $ 400,000 for visitor promotion, $ 155,000 for a service education brokerage for employment and $ 300,000 for industry-led transportation and logistics courses.
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Venture Timaru also received funding from the Timaru District Council.
The learning initiative had been remarkable, says Davenport.
“This funding which is applied directly to businesses employing these new apprentices will have an economic benefit to our region of over $ 14 million over the next three and a half years and has been well received and appreciated by industry sectors.
“We are delighted that our process and success in administering this initiative with fully allocated funding within five months is seen as a national example by the powerhouse. “
In the same report to the board, Venture Timaru chairman Mark Rogers said this was the first year Venture Timaru had taken responsibility for tourism, and although substantial help came from the government, it did come with stipulations. .
“Firstly for increased collaboration with our neighboring regions and secondly that each tourism organization had to implement or update a destination management plan. “
Davenport said one of the biggest challenges for the region is retaining workers.
“Without the 60,000 to 80,000 migrant workers who previously migrated to New Zealand each year, the national labor market has tightened considerably.
“While many companies are doing their best to develop and multi-skill their existing workforce, many still have gaps that not only take time to fill, but also impact their ability to do the job. job. “
Helping companies retain and develop their workforce would be a top priority in the coming year, Davenport said.
Supply chain issues remained, but he says Timaru District rebounded better after the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 than most other parts of New Zealand.
“This was in large part due to the diversity of our local economy and the fact that we had more of the ‘essential workforce’ compared to many regions. “