Southland, like other regions, is facing a workforce shortage due to an aging population.
To allow businesses to grow and develop, skilled staff are required. Venture Southland is active in attracting migrants to the region and also in helping to ensure that skilled workers remain in Southland. Without people, new businesses and industries cannot develop, and existing industries cannot be extended.
The importance of retention and attraction was highlighted in 2014 when Venture Southland commissioned the Southland Regional Labour Market Assessment from the University of Waikato, to provide insight into the expected labour market conditions in Southland for 2014 to 2031. Overall the report highlighted the need for the Southland region to develop plans to increase its labour supply to meet the projected shortage. Southland is not alone with this challenge, which highlights the importance of implementing a strategy now to minimise the impact in an increasingly competitive market.
The strategy led to the Southland Regional Development Strategy setting a population target of 110,000, an increase of 13,000 from the current population by 2025. To achieve this goal Venture Southland has implemented the following key initiatives: