Skills shortage biggest concern

Skills shortage was the biggest concern for the more than 2000 businesses which responded to Business New Zealand’s Election Survey.

Problems getting skilled staff, not being well positioned to innovate and concerns over the business environment including the Employment Relations and Holidays Act and ACC were the three big issues for respondents.

The education system wasn’t meeting the needs of 72% of respondents; 94% said more work was needed in apprenticeships and industry training and 91% said all school leavers should achieve at least NCEA 1 numberacy and literacy.

Problems mentioned included the quality of tertiary qualifications and stop-start immigration which are contributing to driving people overseas; the skills shortage is a symptom of underlying uncompetitiveness and and New Zealand economy isn’t growing enough high paying jobs so skilled workers go overseas.

The second biggest issue was innovation with 89% of respondents saying research & development credits are unlikely to lift the level of R & D; 54% want new policies to imporve access to venture capital and 54% said government assistance should be through a contestable fund.

The business environment was the third big issue. Under this category 71% of respondents said the dismissals provision in the ERA was below average; 54% said the ERA collective approach is the wrong way;89% don’t want laws for work-life balance and 65% want to open ACC to competition.

A flatter tax system was wanted by 64% of respondents; 62% want local government to stick to its core busienss; 55% support the FTA with China; and 73% said New Zealand shouldn’t be a world leader on climate change.

An NZ Herald report on the results is here; and the responses to Business NZ questions by political parties is here.

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