A new role at Ōpōtiki District Council is tasked with ensuring that there are clear pathways into many new employment opportunities in the district. The role will also help make sure that local employers are fair workplaces and Ōpōtiki is a great place to work.
Ōpōtiki District Council Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie, said that it was a huge undertaking but the role was key to ensuring that with the new jobs came training, skills and support for local people to fill those positions.
"At the moment we have so much investment being pumped into the district – we have a mussel processing factory being built and a harbour entrance about to start taking shape. We also have footpaths being built throughout the district, central government funded 'green projects', new irrigation opportunities, and a strong primary industry with more kiwifruit going in each year.
"It is vital that we ensure there are strong links between the new work and training and skills-development. The Workforce Coordinator role will make sure there are systems and information in place, helping employers find the teams they need, making sure there are good opportunities for training and skill development to suit industry needs," Aileen Lawrie said.
Ōpōtiki's Pathways to Work network is co-led by Te Pou Oranga ō Whakatōhea and Council. Together they recognised the need for more investment in workforce co-ordination locally as the combined mussel and harbour project and booming primary industry demand more people with the right skills and training. With support from other agencies including the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs they have established a new Kaiwhakahaere mō Whanaketanga (Workforce Development Coordinator).
"We are thrilled to welcome Barbara MacLennan to the role from this week.
"Barbara is already well known among the Pathways to Work network, and has been actively involved in the Harbour Project for over a decade. She has helped get Eastern Bay's focus on workforce development established, and especially youth to employment agendas. We're pleased that she'll also continue in her role at Toi EDA part-time, as our Eastern Bay communities are so interconnected," Aileen Lawrie said.
Rota Carrington , Te Pou Oranga ō Whakatōhea Education and Workforce Training Manager said that he "can't wait for Barbara to take on her new role".
"Although Barbara has worked so positively in support of Ōpōtiki and Whakatōhea in her Toi EDA role, this space is growing so fast we are in need of more of her expertise.
"We are so fortunate that council has been able to employ someone with Barbara's background in the new role. Barbara's understanding of Ōpōtiki's workforce needs and the fact she has already facilitated some of the critical networking amongst the Ōpōtiki stakeholders means she will hit the ground running. This is a much-needed role and a great appointment," Rota Carrington said.
Image: Barbara MacLennan