Skills in the Service sector

Skills in the Service sector

More recognition of on job training and qualifications, encouraging credentialisation of training and supporting employers to invest more in their people is critical to uplifting the skills of our Service sector workforce and tackling this skills shortage across all sectors.

With rapid changes in work environments and people moving across different roles, it is increasingly important for industry to recognise previous skills and experience of kaimahi. Currently a lot of training is delivered on the job and this experience is not always recognised or credentialised. However, as people are more likely to work in multiple roles and industries through their careers, credentialising on-job training or acknowledging micro-credentials could form an important lever in rapidly matching people into roles and support kaimahi to progress within their careers wherever they go.

It is the responsibility of the vocational education system to support more kaimahi through relevant learning, qualifications, and training – whether that be classroom learning or on-job training. We acknowledge that there are some improvements needed to ensure a better vocational education system that is more well aligned with industry needs and which can support the rapid transitions of kaimahi within the Service sector. This system needs to ensure there are:

Fit for purpose qualifications.

Qualifications created address the industry need and are relevant.

Where possible these qualifications and training should look ahead at upcoming innovations and predict future qualifications and training needs for industry.

Qualifications are recognised by industry. This will ensure they are of value to both the industry and their kaimahi. Industry can more easily distinguish potential candidates when recruiting and support the career pathways of existing workers in the industry.

Qualifications are accessible to all kaimahi in the workforce. This means reducing barriers to entry like cost and ensuring flexible hours and modes where possible, such as offering online or evening learning options, and making provision accessible
to Māori. This can be done through ensuring there is:

  • Mātauranga Māori provision available,
  • Culturally competent providers,
  • Industry and providers have partnerships with iwi Māori; and Māori organisations and business,
  • Pastoral care is available to learners.

While businesses are experiencing sustained skills and labour shortages only a fraction of employers are participating in industry training and there has been a steady decline in the uptake of vocational education. Total enrolments (both in providers and in industry training) in Service sector qualifications has been declining over the last five years, with the number of learners falling by more than 25% across the sector and close to 50% in Retail, Tourism & Travel, Aviation and Security.

The only exception to this trend is in Financial & Advisory where there is an increase in enrolments due to recent legislative changes requiring Financial Advisors to get their license within a set timeframe. This represents a serious issue for the sector in ensuring the supply of trained workers.

This may be because of a multitude of factors, including:

◘  A lack of clear value of the qualifications to kaimahi. By credentialising learning and training, kaimahi would be better placed to demonstrate their skills and experience to industry. This would likely encourage more kaimahi to undertake more training and qualifications and therefore uplift the skills of our workforce as a whole. Formal qualifications and credentialised training are not traditionally recongnised as a value add investment for many industries

◘. Limited accessibility of training and qualifications for kaimahi. This could be cost, time or limited support offered throughout the training or learning course.

◘. Limited resource of business to invest time and resources into training kaimahi.