Rotorua tourism workers helped into new jobs

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology is helping tourism and hospo workers into new jobs. Photo/File

A new initiative aimed at Rotorua tourism and hospitality workers whose jobs have been impacted by Covid-19 will see them retrained to gain management and leadership skills.

The joint initiative between the Employers and Manufacturers Association, Te Arawa iwi groups, and Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology has just been granted funding from the Ministry of Social Development and will give participants the tools and support required to find new employment opportunities.

The ReTrain programme will provide 18 certificates across a range of subjects to give trainees knowledge, skills and abilities that could lead to jobs including digital literacy, health and safety, cybersecurity, personal effectiveness and job readiness skills.

“The Rotorua rohe has experienced a decline in the number of tourism and hospitality jobs due to the impact of Covid-19," says Employers and Manufacturers Association Digital and Regional Training Manager, Liz McGrath.

"This programme aims to allow trainees to discover themselves, transform thinking and gain the knowledge and practical skills necessary to discover employment opportunities in different industries,” Liz says.

Te Arawa Group Holdings Human Resources manager Julie Kerry says the funding for the pilot programme will make a huge difference to those affected by Covid-19. 

She says Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Whakarewarewa Māori Village, Te Puia, i-Site, Mitai Māori Village and a leading hotel accommodation provider have all been “tremendously supportive” of the initiative.

“The tourism industries in Rotorua have made a number of redundancies, especially women. 

"We are all very excited about this initiative, as it will make a huge difference to those involved,” Julie says.

Toi Ohomai Business, Design and Service Industries Faculty Dean, Bart Vosse says a lot of work has happened behind the scenes to make this initiative a reality. 

He says partnerships like this are not only good for those involved but also for the wider community.

“We want to help provide those affected by Covid-19 with new opportunities and the skills they may need to take them where they want to go.

“Covid-19 has had such a devastating impact on businesses in Rotorua and the wider Bay of Plenty and we want to help ensure that those who have been hit hardest are well prepared to go into new work. 

"This initiative will help those people gain the skills, knowledge and experience they need to go back into the work force and help rebuild Rotorua’s economy,” says Bart.

Bay of Plenty Regional Commissioner for Social Development, Mike Bryant says the re-training and upskilling initiative will connect the students back to the workforce as quickly as possible.

“This is a great approach.

"We congratulate all those involved and hope this initiative will also go on to become a recruitment model for the tourism industry in the future,” says Mike.

The first 50 trainees will be welcomed to the programme with a pōhiri at Toi Ohomai on October 19.

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