Southland, like other regions, is facing a workforce shortage due to an aging population.

Given the importance placed on increasing the population in the Southland Regional Development Strategy, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is a key priority for Venture Southland.

Growing Southland's population is essential for creating confidence in the future of the region and encouraging businesses to grow. Without people, new businesses and industries cannot develop, and existing industries cannot be extended.

The importance of retention and attraction was highlighted in the 2014 Southland workforce strategy which recognised that Southland needs to develop plans to increase its labour supply to meet the projected shortage. This contributed to the Southland Regional Development Strategy’s main goal of attracting 10,000 more people by 2025.

To encourage Southland's growth Venture Southland is involved in the following initiatives: