David Thompson Posted:
So very, very true. It beggars belief that we consider ourselves to be a developed nation when so much of our economy is based on selling milk powder or logs. BTW, I own a Plinius amplifier (my second) that drives a set of Theophany speakers.
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David Thompson Posted:
A robust but sobering report. It concerns me that confidence is rising, yet sales and exports are down and "manufacturers and exporters are still lagging behind other sectors". Surely we should wait until we're earning more money before we start spending more?
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siemens Posted:
Yes true! The only thing that will never die in this world is the nature and its science behind it. Great post.
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Kieran Ormandy Posted:
Thanks for the question Steven, Germany has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2009, and Switzerland has had stable manufacturing employment between 2006 – 2011, even in the face of ongoing Euro-zone issues. Korea has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2008 and Israel experienced large increases since 1998, while being stable over the last 4 years. Singapore has had increases in manufacturing employment over the last two years. These countries all value their manufacturing sectors and work to protect them, this is reflected in the above numbers and their performance through the GFC. Note data around the above examples was sourced from OECD labour market stats.
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John Walley Posted:
Point one: you should have no doubt what our Association says publically represent the views of our members. Point two: we don’t knee jerk responses, if you trace back our comments around NZPower you will see them link all the way back to our research in 2004 and 2005. All that material is fully linked from our comments above. Point three: you will note our comments on major users, sadly the same advantage does not accrue to smaller industrial users. The perverse incentives of the LRMC approach in all this are well known. Point four: the NZMEA is not like any other Association in New Zealand we admit only manufacturers and exporters into membership, and our public expressions are the views of that restricted membership.
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It is all about people!

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There is an obvious disconnect between our education system, both secondary and tertiary, and what industry needs to grow our economy and prosper. Manufacturers and other sectors are increasingly struggling to find the skilled staff they need to grow, say the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA).

NZMEA Chief Executive Dieter Adam says, “The availability of skilled people coming out of our education system is an issue that manufacturers have identified for some time, and there have been comments recently of other sectors feeling the same.

“The shortages we often hear about are among the ‘skilled practitioner' level and highly skilled trades workers (NZQF levels 5 and 6), be that a technically skilled team leader in a manufacturing operation or a hotel manager in the tourism sector. Manufacturers are also facing shortages in the area of ‘highly skilled experts’, for example, graduate mechatronics engineers.

“An aggravating factor is the fact that it is exactly these skilled people who are in short supply in many advanced economies – including Germany, for example, as I found in discussions with German manufacturers during a recent visit there. Young New Zealanders with a good technical education are well-regarded internationally and we are increasingly exposed to a global hunt for talent” says Dieter.

“Immigration is a tool in the short term, provided that migrants come with the appropriate skills and levels of practical experience, however, this should not be the long term solution. New Zealand has high rates of numeracy, literacy and problem solving skills when compared to other OECD countries – the key step is helping students gain the additional professional skills being in demand, and making them aware of where opportunities lie.

“The Government has taken excellent initiatives in selected areas, such as the engineering e2e initiative, but beyond its current pursuit of partial solutions the Government needs to undertake a root cause analysis of the underlying problems if it wants to ensure sustainable growth of the New Zealand economy.

“Everybody talks about the need for our economy to move towards value-added products and services, be that in agriculture, tourism or manufacturing. Without enough suitably qualified young people emerging from our education system, that cannot happen, especially with an aging workforce taking skilled workers out of the talent pool and demographic trends reducing the supply of young people entering the workforce.

“The Productivity Commission’s inquiry into new models of tertiary education currently undertaken is a needed step in the right direction. We hope this translates into real change to make our education system more responsive to the needs of industry and where opportunities for well-paid skilled employment exist.” says Dieter.    

tags: skills, trades, e2e, engineers, manufacturing, highly skilled, education


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