Skip to content

Minister launches “stunning” Service Sector Regional Plans


Ten regions around the country now have Roadmaps and Plans for their service sectors, with four more on the way, thanks to industry training organisation ServiceIQ.

Launched at Parliament, Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Hon Louise Upston said that the Roadmaps deserved to be launched at the nation’s seat of government.

“This work is absolutely stunning. These are really substantial documents that are filled with data, information and actions to support regional New Zealand. To have a formal launch at Parliament speaks to how important this is to our country, and gives them the credibility and credence that many years of work deserve.

“Service industries contribute to a large proportion of our economy at national and regional levels. It is no secret that service industries need more staff, and better trained staff, particularly in our regions. The rapid growth we are seeing will continue, meaning industry training needs to work well.”

Minister Upston noted that there are around 100,000 businesses in the aviation, hospitality, retail, travel, tourism and museum sectors.

“Growth in services employment has been reasonably broad across most industries over the past decade and particularly strong in 2015 were retail, accommodation and food services. The forecast for new jobs in the sector over the next five years is 54,000,” she says.

“But it’s not just about attracting new people. It’s also retaining the ones we’ve got, up-skilling the existing workforce, and giving opportunities to those who are partway through their career.

“Last Friday I attended the ServiceIQ Taupo Business Awards. There are many great businesses doing incredibly well. One of the commentaries that came through was that one of the challenges is how to find staff to help support growth.

The businesses in regional New Zealand show what can be achieved with good training and career pathways. Friday night in Taupo had many examples, and a classic one was the manager from the Award winner DeBretts Spa Resort. She started as a housekeeper and, through multiple opportunities that her employer gave her to train on-job and improve her skills, she was able to move all the way up the organisation. She now manages an award-winning business.

Minister Louise Upston speaking

“That’s an important message: it’s not about where you start; it’s the opportunities that your employer gives you.

“ServiceIQ is in a strong position to work with industry and government to ensure trainees are gaining skills that are both relevant and aligned to the future skills need.

“The actions in these Roadmaps will help businesses overcome challenges of attracting and retaining staff; of transitioning capable young people from school into work and on-job training; of increasing productivity through core skills development; and of improving business and management capability.

“Each region needs people employed in accommodation industries, bars and restaurants, cafés, clubs, food services, museums, quick service restaurants, retail and retail supply chains, tourism, travel, wholesale sectors, aviation, and catering.

“The new Regional Roadmaps identify and prioritise people and skills issues across the regions. These issues need to be addressed to develop a future workforce that meets the needs of the growing service sector to the benefit of New Zealand.

“These are a great resource for educators and employers alike, and I look forward to seeing the next ones.”

The Regional Roadmaps and Actions Plans are online and can be downloaded from