Sector Workforce Capability

The sector currently has an aging workforce and limited succession planning. We need to attract people into the sector and retain them but, in general, the sector is not as attractive or competitive as other sectors that compete for similar skill sets. The sector’s capability needs are also changing in response to tougher environmental standards, greater assurances being required around public health and safety, as well as efforts to lift the bar on asset management practices across the country. Some organisations are tackling these issues and there is an opportunity to share these learnings through greater industry collaboration. Vocational education and training will need to evolve in response.

A project to explore these challenges and develop a strategy and plan of action for resolving them is being kicked off in 2018. The timing and details for the project are currently being worked out.

Water New Zealand wants to see members get actively involved in this important initiative.

There is already a lot happening around the sector on capability and we need your help to complete a stock take of the initiatives underway or planned. If you know of something relevant, please let us know about it.

We do not yet have a clear picture of what the sector workforce and its capability looks like now and how that may need to change in the future. Water NZ would like to commission two pieces of analysis:

  • A workforce profile that shows how the size, distribution and characteristics of the workforce vary across NZ and includes insights on the particular operating challenges faced in different locations.
  • An environmental scan that provides a summary of the future issues and trends affecting how the sector will need to operate in the future and the flow on capability implications.

Water New Zealand welcomes member donations of time and/or funding to enable this work to be commissioned.

Developing the strategy itself will involve several work streams covering: capability needs; the vocational education and training system; and recruitment and retention. Water NZ is seeking volunteers to help with this stage of the work.

The Water New Zealand contact for this project is