A survey of more than 800 business’ over the last 48 hours in Auckland reveals some extraordinary results.
71% of survey respondents believe that the general business situation in New Zealand will continue to improve over the next six months, an increase from 61% last quarter. This response is also matched by 68% of respondents believing that their own personal business situation will see a direct improvement in the coming six months, another rise in confidence from the last survey in Nov 2013 which reported 63%.
“Businesses are gearing up for a greater investment of time, increased profitability and are looking ahead to improved export opportunities” Michael says “But it seems we still have a long way to go to resolve the problems around skilled staffing shortages”.
The survey also revealed:
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Confidence begets confidence which is good for business, the people they employ and the whole economy.
However, there is concern over a shortage of skilled labour:
Securing workers with the right skills and experience is becoming increasingly difficult for business in Auckland.
Survey results across the past 12 months show a growing concern amongst business about the challenges of finding skilled staff. February 2013 saw 25% of respondents having difficulty employing specialist staff, increasing to 32% in our most recent survey.
“We need strategies to offset this issue fast, business needs to place a greater focus on training existing staff for the specific needs of their business and work hard on making sure their business is where top staff will want to stay” says Chamber Chief Executive Michael Barnett
“It also sends out a clear message to the Department of Immigration. We need to look at getting some flexibility into our Immigration policy to help bring into New Zealand skilled workers to fill these gaps. If Auckland and New Zealand are to achieve deserved economic growth there needs to be policy that actually helps deliver these much needed skills to our work force now”.
The policy to employ locals first is sensible but when there are no locals with the right skills, and attitude, it would be helpful if immigration policy was sufficiently flexible to help businesses employ the staff they need and do so quickly and easily.