The Tom Column - Focused on the future for youth training and work
We recently had Got a Trade Week 2016 which is a new initiative launched by Government to raise awareness of the on-the-job training and career opportunities in New Zealand’s trades and service industries.
Strong employment growth is forecast in the construction, business services, and hospitality and retail industries. It’s important we get the information to our young people that a career in the trades is a great option and will give them practical skills for a productive and growing industry. And of course many successful trades’ people go one to make a profitable business from their skill.
Some of our most successful business people have been able to anticipate the future, to identify growth areas and where skilled employers will be in demand. Think back ten years ago and no one would have thought of being a Social Media Manager or a Carbon Emissions Trader. New jobs and industries are being created every year, and the work of teachers and career advisers is to keep themselves and our young people informed of trends that will help them make good career and training choices.
A great website is www.careers.govt.nz which has many helpful tools for young people to discover what resources and opportunities are available. It’s about ensuring students understand the demand for future work, where the skills shortages will be and the greatest opportunity for employment.
Job-creating economic growth is the Governments focus, and Statistics New Zealand reported on 17 August, that the official unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 per cent in the June Quarter, down from 5.2 per cent in March, and down also from 5.5 per cent a year earlier. More and more jobs are becoming available to our young people.
What it all means is that 105,000 extra jobs have been created in our economy in the last year and 251,000 extra jobs have been created in the last three years.
Added to that, the average annual wage has risen about 25 per cent to over $58,000 since National came into office – that’s more than double the rate of inflation over the period (11.9 per cent). The average annual wage is expected to reach almost $63,000 by 2020.
By any measure, these are positive social and economic numbers. But we have more to do. I can assure you the National-led Government will continue working hard every day to build on this momentum and create a bright future for our young people.