Business breakfast provides food for thought

04 Aug 2022

Last week NZPPI partnered up with Lincoln University to host a business breakfast at the PwC offices in Canterbury. 

Industry leaders came together at the breakfast to discuss how our industry can adapt to the new business environment, where skill and technology are top of mind. 

PwC Manager of Food + Fibre Consulting  Emma Boase explained that skilled workers are in demand across the economy.  Attraction, upskilling, and retaining staff are the three most important things, with attraction being foremost: "we need to work together to grow the pie, rather than cut it up."

Emma said employers need to think about our school leavers and what pathways match. 

"There are many options but what matters is that industry is engaging in supporting students through work experience opportunities and study."

She discussed growing retention through equity ownership models by giving leaders more than just a wage. The focus should be on keeping people in the industry rather than in your business "as the worker pool will move and shift."

Professor Hamish Gow, of Lincoln University warned that 'working alone is not an option".  The future is about business models and ways of working that enable sharing skills and technology.    

"Workforce is an issue that has been made apparent because of Covid but is not something new that our industry is facing."

The latest workforce statistics from PwC show that:

  • A growing proportion of school leavers are Māori, Pacific, or other ethnic minorities
  • 15% of school leavers have a disability
  • 40% of school leavers achieve University Entrance (UE)
  • 20% only achieve NCEA Level 1 or less
  • The majority go on to tertiary study, with 36% of those entering foundational levels (1-3)
  • 29% of school leavers go straight into the workforce

The barriers to study are:

  • Cost of study
  • Lack of connections with their desired pathway
  • Lack of capacity to engage with career decision-making. 


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