Muka Tangata WDC speak to the Parliamentary Primary Production Select Committee

Muka Tangata Workforce Development Council (WDC) Chair Erin Simpson and Chief Executive Jeremy Baker were invited to speak to the Parliamentary Primary Production Select Committee on Thursday 30 June on the Inquiry into the future of the workforce needs in the primary industries of New Zealand.

The inquiry aims to look into the future of workforce needs in the food and fibre sector, and what they will look like in the short, medium and long-term future.

Muka Tangata has been established to provide industry and sector voice and advocacy within the vocational education system of Aotearoa New Zealand. This includes a strong focus on ensuring hapū, iwi and whānau Māori are able to get the skills they need to succeed.

In the nine months since being established Muka Tangata has developed a clear approach to engage effectively with the food and fibre sector. The organisation has begun to create workforce development plans with industry, that capture and describe skill and workforce challenges and opportunities, and will identify solutions to those needs. “Delivering solutions is our focus,” said Jeremy Baker.

Committee members asked questions around pathways into the food and fibre sector through vocational and academic learning; how wages play a part in attraction and retention in the sector; how those who develop our workforce can be developed to best understand the needs of the sector; and identifying how different industries in the sector can work together on workforce issues, rather than in competition.

Committee Chair Jo Luxon, MP for Rangitata, said that Muka Tangata had provided useful information for the inquiry.

The briefing ended on a positive note, with the Committee Chair asking that Committee members send any further questions directly to Erin or Jeremy, and leaving the door open for Muka Tangata to brief the Committee on its progress in future.