Government action needed on sustainable development goals

New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPWNZ) president Christine Berridge.
New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPWNZ) president Christine Berridge.

The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPWNZ) urges the government to meet its commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

“BPWNZ is concerned that a recent report by the Auditor-General, on achieving the SDGs, notes a lack of strategic integration, leadership and coherent implementation across government, business and civil society,” says President Christine Berridge.

“The previous government signed up to the SDGs in 2015 and very little has been done by any government since to implement the framework.

“We have waited in vain for six years to see precise targets, action, and reporting – we have nothing.

“The Auditor-General’s report ‘The Government’s preparedness to implement the sustainable development goals’ includes seven essential recommendations critical to elevating New Zealand’s focus on domestic measures to coordinate implementation of the SDGs.

“It is vital that the Government act on the recommendations in the report and implement the SDG framework particularly, in our view, to improve the lives of women.

“We are almost halfway to 2030, the clock is ticking, and the Government must act now so that no-one is left behind.”

Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business

What the Government has announced today is a start – but it won’t be nearly enough for most businesses who still have outgoing costs like rent, rates and insurance, says ACT. Times photo Wayne Martin
What the Government has announced today is a start – but it won’t be nearly enough for most businesses who still have outgoing costs like rent, rates and insurance, says ACT. Times photo Wayne Martin

What the Government has announced today is a start – but it won’t be nearly enough for most businesses who still have outgoing costs like rent, rates and insurance, says ACT. Times photo Wayne Martin

Businesses affected by higher alert levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP).

“The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an extended period of alert level restrictions,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

“This will provide cashflow to businesses and support them in meeting their ongoing obligations as we come down Alert Levels and while Auckland remains at higher Alert Levels than the rest of the country.

“Applications for the next RSP will open on Friday September 17. Ministers have agreed that there will be another two payments after that, three weeks apart, so long as the conditions that trigger the RSP apply.”

“The payment and eligibility criteria to qualify for the RSP remain the same, including that those applying must experience at least a 30 per cent decline in revenue over seven days (for this payment commencing September 8) as a result of being at Alert Level 2 or higher.” Revenue Minister David Parker said.

The payment includes a core per business rate of $1500, plus $400 per employee, up to a total of 50 full-time equivalents (FTEs) which is a maximum payment of $21,500. Businesses with more than 50 FTEs can still apply but cannot get more than the maximum payment.

“The scheme will be available until all of New Zealand returns to Alert Level 1 for one month,” Parker said.

Inland Revenue encourages those applying to ensure the accuracy of the information they provide, as if it isn’t correct that will delay processing.

“The economy is operating above pre-Covid levels thanks to our strong public health response. These principles will continue to guide our approach to supporting the economy, businesses and workers at this challenging time,” Robertson said.

Businesses can apply for the payment by logging into their MyIR account. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue website.

Meanwhile ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie said today the Government’s resurgence payment announcement will barely touch the sides for most businesses and more needs to be done.

“ACT is calling for the Resurgence Payments to be weekly under Level 4, Level 3 and for hospitality under Level 2,” Baillie said.

“This morning I have taken part in an unofficial Epidemic Response Committee run, by the ACT Party, focussing on the impacts on the hospitality industry.

“The stories are devasting. Business owners are taking a hammering, they’re doing all they can to keep paying their staff but are taking a massive hit themselves.

“One business owner told us that he’s amassed $200,000 in debt in the past few weeks. Others talked of the personal toll this has taken on them and the stress of being unable to pay their bills or get a full night’s sleep.

“The Government just doesn’t seem to understand the pressure these businesses are under through absolutely no fault of their own.

“What the Government has announced today is a start – but it won’t be nearly enough for most businesses who still have outgoing costs like rent, rates and insurance.

“There is much further to go if the Government wants to save livelihoods.”

For more information on Covid-19 business support measures, including full eligibility criteria:

https://www.ird.govt.nz/covid-19/business-and-organisations/employing-staff/financial-support/resurgence-support-payment

https://www.ird.govt.nz/covid-19/business-and-organisations/sbcs

https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/covid-19/wage-subsidy/index.html

Alert Level Four Business Snapshot Survey results in

Overall, businesses support the Government's call so far, but businesses are looking at what the long-term plan is, so the country can avoid lockdowns as the only way to limiting virus transmission.
Overall, businesses support the Government’s call so far, but businesses are looking at what the long-term plan is, so the country can avoid lockdowns as the only way to limiting virus transmission.
A quick snapshot survey of how businesses are doing at alert level four reveals that over half will be seeking government support, with calls for a further vaccine ramp up.
“The consistent message we have received, from both this survey and the hundreds of phone calls we’re had, is that the only way out of Delta and get back to the new normal is through vaccination ramp up. It’s key to re-opening New Zealand to the world, and it’s key for all Kiwis to get back to work and life,” says Simon Arcus, Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central chief executive.
“While the alert level change to four caught some by surprise, the survey shows most businesses had plans in place in preparation. We asked how businesses were operating under Level 4 conditions. It’s no surprise that it’s a story of two halves, of those businesses that are essential, providing some essential products, or that can operate from home and those public-facing businesses that can’t operate at all. Just 12 per cent have said they are functioning at full capacity, over a quarter (26 per cent) are closed, and just over a third (35 per cent) operating at less than half of their usual capacity.
“With the alert level change decision ahead later today – we asked what the impact would be of moving to level three. Those that anticipate they can operate at full capacity or just slightly under jumps to 60 per cent, with only 8 per cent anticipating they will still be closed, and just over a third (30 per cent) operating at less than half of their usual capacity.
“With over half of businesses, (55 per cent) say they have already or are intending to, apply for the government support packages, it would be preferable to have a short alert level four, and a move to alert level three with rigorous health measures. Another 9 per cent say they will apply for Government assistance, should the lockdown continue beyond Friday’s deadline.
“Overall, businesses support the Government’s call so far, but businesses are looking at what the long-term plan is, so the country can avoid lockdowns as the only way to limiting virus transmission.
“We asked at what percentage of a full vaccinated population should New Zealand begin to resume open-border policies with the rest of the world. Just under a quarter (24 per cent) said at least 71 per cent, 35 per cent expected New Zealand to begin opening borders at 81 per cent, and 23 per cent wanted a vaccine rate of at least 91 per cent.
“Much of the open comment feedback stressed the need to rapidly vaccinate Kiwis, so it is encouraging to see the big uptick in vaccinations over the past few days as well as the number of bookings. These numbers must be sustained, and indeed increase over the coming weeks.
“We would also urge the Government to commence saliva testing and home testing kits which have been incredibly useful overseas, available here from local businesses, and no doubt take pressure off our stretched health services.
“As we wait for the decision to come later today, businesses in our region will hope for a clear path out of this latest lockdown. We’re incredibly grateful to our health services and our essential workers, and to our communities for getting tested and vaccinated.”

Survey reveals how employees are really feeling about their work

nib New Zealand chief executive officer Rob Hennin says strong communication and support during the height of the pandemic saw 55 per cent of respondents report improved job satisfaction over that time, but that worryingly these levels have since dropped.
nib New Zealand chief executive officer Rob Hennin says strong communication and support during the height of the pandemic saw 55 per cent of respondents report improved job satisfaction over that time, but that worryingly these levels have since dropped.
It really is the small things that count – that is one of the key findings revealed as part of the inaugural EMA Workplace Wellbeing Survey in partnership with nib.
The online survey of nearly 600 people – spanning all business sizes, sectors and from leadership to frontline staff – was recently conducted to better understand the link between wellbeing, retention and productivity.
EMA chief executive Brett O’Riley, says the survey uncovered the small business choices which have the most significant everyday impact on their people – and that ignoring them could be a huge risk to your business.
“While 84 per cent of survey respondents strongly agreed that staff wellbeing initiatives contributed to the retention of high performing employees, the most common methods of measuring staff wellbeing relate to turnover and retention levels (65 per cent), absentee rates (63 per cent) and exit interviews (48 per cent). Of course, many of these measurements are occurring at a point when it’s too late to make a positive difference,” he says.
“In a world where challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic mean retaining and upskilling your people is crucial to your ongoing success, businesses have got to take this seriously and be more proactive to keep their people,” O’Riley adds.
Overall, survey findings indicated that one in six companies do nothing to track and measure wellbeing, and of those, 33 per cent were small businesses with less than 15 employees. On a positive note, small businesses were seen as particularly good at responding to requests for flexible hours, with 62 per cent of respondents from organisations with less than 15 staff saying their employers did so ‘really well’, compared with 43 per cent overall.
nib New Zealand chief executive officer Rob Hennin, says strong communication and support during the height of the pandemic saw 55 per cent of respondents report improved job satisfaction over that time, but that worryingly these levels have since dropped.
“Initially many businesses were quick to introduce positive communication ways to support their people but over the last year there has been a significant increase in the proportion of workers feeling concerned about all aspects of their wellbeing,” Hennin said.
The survey showed 32 per cent of respondents were concerned about the health of their family (up 10 per cent) from pre-pandemic levels), one in four had concerns about their own health (up 11 per cent), closely followed by 23 per cent being concerned for the mental health and wellbeing of their family (up 6 per cent).
“It’s telling that these concerns came in ahead of those around personal financial security and that of their household. This just demonstrates why supporting the health and wellbeing of your workforce should be a top priority for employers,” Hennin said.
One in three employee respondents also believed their employer could be more proactive at prioritising, adapting and implementing wellbeing strategies.
“There’s a significant opportunity here for businesses. It’s not about being tokenistic, but offering solutions that truly make a difference to employees’ lives. Not only does it show you care, it plays a pivotal role in retaining high performing staff – saving you money in the long-term – and can also give staff peace of mind, improving productivity as they have greater ability to focus,” Hennin concludes.
When asked which initiatives would make the biggest difference to addressing these areas of concern, the two top areas spontaneously mentioned by respondents were flexible working policies and mental health initiatives. These ranged from an annual mental health day for all employees to attend workshops or seminars to mindfulness, yoga, pilates, meditation in the workplace and resilience training.
“These aren’t big things, don’t take up a lot of time and money, and highlight that it’s the little things that can make a huge difference to ensuring your people are happier and healthier in mind and body. That makes them more productive, leaves them feeling good about the contribution they’re making and stick with you,” says O’Riley.
In the workplace, a lack of adequate staff resourcing, failure to manage resources to mitigate burn out and failure to manage reasons why people leave were the key areas where survey respondents felt businesses were underperforming, especially in larger organisations.
“I think this is an area we need to delve into more as this could suggest a number of things. Is it that in increasing agility, adapting quickly and improving capability of existing staff has actually stretched them too thin, and has that had a flow on effect to recruitment in that businesses are not hiring the right people with the right skills to fit in with what is actually a new business strategy since Covid-19?” O’Riley asks.
“We believe it’s time to look at a refreshed management playbook to make sure open, honest relationships with deeper levels of understanding with everyone in an organisation for their sake, and that of your business, but the most important thing is to just make a start as it is all intrinsically linked.”
See the survey results highlights  infographic for more detail.

More RSE workers welcome: BusinessNZ

Photo applesandpears.nz
Photo applesandpears.nz
Welcoming more of the Pacific workforce to New Zealand is a good move, says BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope.
“Businesses across all regions and sectors are struggling with skill shortages. It is positive to see the Government applying a risk management approach to the border and allowing people – Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE) – to come in without MIQ requirements where there is minimal risk to New Zealand.
“We look forward to the Government working constructively with other industry groups to find pragmatic solutions to the current skill shortages.
“This will be a welcome relief for the primary industry companies that are facing a number of challenges still, and assist our Pacific neighbours experiencing significant economic hardship”.

Meanwhile Leader of the Opposition and National’s Pacific Peoples spokesperson Judith Collins says the Government’s plan to allow one-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu is the right one but should have come much sooner.

“We called for a move like this back in March to allow workers from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji to New Zealand for work in our staff-stretched agricultural sector. At the time, Fiji, like Tonga and Samoa, had never had a community case of Covid-19. But, given the current outbreak in Fiji, bringing Vanuatu onboard makes sense.

“It’s a good move but it should’ve happened much, much sooner. Our agricultural sector has been crying out for workers for a long time now, and they’ve paid a heavy price for the Government’s inaction.

“The question now is, if we can bring in RSE workers without them having to undergo quarantine once they enter New Zealand, why can’t we prioritise other people from these three countries for quarantine-free travel?

“Many people in our Pacific communities have loved ones they haven’t seen in more than 18 months now. It’s time to let them reconnect and share important life moments together.”

EMA chief executive Brett O’Riley is calling for the Government to declare an overstayer amnesty alongside allowing more RSE workers from the Pacific Islands to come here quarantine-free from next month.
“We know a large proportion of those who have overstayed their visas are from the Pacific Islands, and given they are already here and part of our community, why wouldn’t we be looking at supporting them first?” he asks.
“There is no doubt that Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers will fill labour shortages, particularly in the agriculture sector, but potentially people for those jobs are here already so I’m not clear on why we’re not giving them first crack.”
O’Riley says businesses across all regions and sectors are struggling with skill shortages and there is a need for this kind of approach from the Government, but overstayer amnesty should have been the first step.
“We’ve got people who need the work but are scared of coming out of the shadows for fear of being sent home because of their temporary status, and who won’t have the financial security they used to,” he says.
“The shortage in workforce in infrastructure and construction has caused delays on major projects, projects that are reliant on and benefit from the Pacific Island workforce. Access to more labour currently in the country would be well received and help reduce the ongoing pressure on both industries.”
O’Riley welcomed calls from Tongan Princess Mele Sui’ilikutapu Kalanivalu Fotofili for a clearly defined pathway to residency in New Zealand, as the next logical step to strengthen the relationship with Pacific Island communities and countries.
“These countries rely on New Zealand, and we need a much more transparent and aspirational pathway for their migrants, who end up supporting both their own and New Zealand’s economy”.
“We are keen to work with the Government on how an overstayer amnesty and residency pathway like this would help fill the skills chasm, now and in the future.”

Late payers on the increase as scarcity bites

Vinay Iswar suggests businesses struggling with late payers change their payment terms to seven days instead of the 20th of the following month. Photo Pixabay
Vinay Iswar suggests businesses struggling with late payers change their payment terms to seven days instead of the 20th of the following month. Photo Pixabay

Many New Zealand SMEs are noticing an increase in late payments over June and July, and one accounting firm suggests that the trend may be influenced by the scarcity of affordable goods, like technology and equipment, which is pushing up prices across the board.

Vinay Iswar, the managing director of Auckland, chartered accounting and business advisor firm BetterCo, says the firm is hearing reports of a sharp increase in slow payers due to several factors, but shortages are one of them.

“Affordable laptops are not widely available right now, but if you want to buy a more expensive model, you can. The same applies to vehicles and other items, so people are paying more, which puts pressure on cash flow.

“Some have the money, but, from some of the conversations we have had, they are choosing to invest elsewhere either in property or other business start-ups. A few are alarmed at warnings of interest rate rises and are trying to hold on to their money for as long as possible.”

Iswar says it is a perfect storm where a higher than average number of people choose to spend their money on other things rather than pay their bills.

“On average, New Zealand businesses pay each other roughly two weeks late, so it is always a thing, but there is a prevalence of it at the moment.”

Shorten payment terms

Iswar suggests businesses struggling with late payers change their payment terms to seven days instead of the 20th of the following month.

“If you issue an invoice on the last day of the month, make it seven days. That way, if you get paid two weeks late, you will at least have the money by the 20th of the month, which is when you wanted it.

“Should the unpaid invoice drag on into the following month, it becomes more than a month late, and that gives you a stronger reason to insist on immediate payment.”

Companies intending to change their payment terms should advise their clients of the change ahead of time.

Direct debit

It is possible to put clients on a direct debit quickly and easily. Apps like Go Cardless integrate with Xero to send clients a link to authorise a direct debit immediately.

“Avoid the old school snail mail form that your client has to sign; they are onerous and slow. It can all be done digitally in a matter of seconds, and we find that those with direct debits get paid first while those that rely on bank transfers wait longer.”

Make it easy

A key to getting paid quicker is to make it easier for your clients to pay because sometimes the reason a payment is late is due to the time and effort it takes.

“Offer your clients several ways to pay. These may be direct debit, a credit card link or the traditional bank transfer. The traditional bank transfer method usually requires three or four steps, and it’s a pain – take the pain out of getting paid.”

Iswar says that a business that changes its payment terms or chases up invoices should not fear ‘losing the business’ because the client still needs what you have to offer.

“By changing your payment terms and switching to direct debit, you are offering your client convenience and protecting your own business. Concentrate on 80 per cent of your clients who do pay their bills and get rid of the bad eggs.”

‘Time to reconsider Fair Pay Agreements’

The EMA says it was widely agreed by employers, the union movement and even current government ministers that the future of work was an adaptable, fast-moving and flexible workplace. Photo by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay
The EMA says it was widely agreed by employers, the union movement and even current government ministers that the future of work was an adaptable, fast-moving and flexible workplace. Photo by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay
Newly released documents show the Government’s plan for Fair Pay Agreements did not have the support of MBIE, and Fair Pay Agreements should now be reconsidered, says BusinessNZ.
Chief executive Kirk Hope says Fair Pay Agreements would cause massive industrial and commercial disruption, and there is no popular support for them outside of the union movement.
“We have now learned that MBIE – the Government agency that would implement Fair Pay Agreements – also recommended against the policy.
“It is not surprising that there is no support for this policy across the vast majority of New Zealanders,” Hope says.
“Compulsory sector-wide collective agreements would do nothing except introduce unwieldy regulation and destroy economic value.”
MBIE officials say the plan had significant risks and could breach New Zealand’s international labour obligations.
Hope says it was also alarming to learn that the Government proposed introducing at least eight Fair Pay Agreements per year, while claiming that there would be no more than two or three per year.
Fair Pay Agreements would be unwieldy, costly and place stifling restrictions on NZ businesses and the NZ economy. It’s time for the plan to be scrapped.”
Meanwhile, the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) says inflexible, compulsory national awards are not the future of the workplace for employers or for employees .
“The fact the Government is pursuing these agreements in the face of contrary advice from officials within MBIE highlights they are a step back in industrial relations for New Zealand,” says EMA CEO Brett O’Riley.
O’Riley says it was widely agreed by employers, the union movement and even current government ministers that the future of work was an adaptable, fast-moving and flexible workplace.
“Why then would we go back to a system of central, inflexible regulation that removes the ability of individual employers to work with their own workforce in setting terms and conditions suitable to an individual workplace and removes the ability for individual employees to negotiate working arrangements that suit their circumstances?”
The MBIE paper also points out that the compulsory nature of negotiating these agreements may also breach international obligations around bargaining as set out by the International Labour Organisation.

Big energy and transport cost increases for business will flow through to customers

Big increases in electricity, gas and transport costs is hitting Kiwi businesses - and it's going to cost consumers in the end. Photo Econonord
Big increases in electricity, gas and transport costs is hitting Kiwi businesses – and it’s going to cost consumers in the end. Photo Econonord
survey of 87 large, medium and small businesses, shows big increases in electricity, gas and transport costs hitting them – and 74% of respondents said they will have to pass cost increases onto customers.
The survey of businesses conducted in June, found 40% of respondents had experienced increases in electricity prices in the last 12 months and over 62% expect them to increase in the next 12 months. The average electricity increase was 75.7% and the median increase was 35%.
Executive director of ExportNZ and ManufacturingNZ, Catherine Beard, said the big differences in average and median price increases was due to some extremely high increases experienced by some respondents, and these tended to be the larger businesses with over 100 employees.
Beard said in addition to increases in the electricity prices, 25% had experienced an increase in gas prices over the last 12 months and 35% were expecting increases in the next 12 months, with the average price increase being over 50% and the median 12%.
“As with electricity there were some extremely high price increases affecting the larger gas users with the larger employee numbers and some (8.5%) said they had difficulty securing gas contracts at all, ” says Beard.
Nearly half of respondents (48%) said the increased energy costs had a middling to significant impact on their business.
When it came to transport costs, the increase in costs for imports has on average increased by 124%, with a median of 45% and for exports the average increase in transport costs was 77% (30% median). The increase
in storage and inventory costs was 23% (15% median).
When asked about strategies to cope with the price increases respondents said:
-74% would put prices up for their customers
-42% would absorb the increased costs, but reduce business activity
-22% would reduce staff numbers
-8% said they would offshore manufacturing to a more competitive country
-3% would close
In addition, some of the larger energy users are frequently stopping production.
Beard said businesses have been struggling to cope with these extra costs for some time now and there is only so long they can absorb the extra costs before they have to put their prices up or make alternative plans.
“For manufacturing to have a good future in New Zealand, we need to ensure policies that deliver reliable, competitive, affordable low emission energy and transport options – as with everything else, diversity of supply will be the key enabler.
“Gas is an important transition fuel to a low carbon economy and should be part of the plan and Covid-19 has shown us we need to think hard about resilience for our transport options, being so far from our markets.”

Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors

The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. Photo Pixabay
The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. Photo Pixabay

The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors – has passed its first reading today.

The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe.

“Every worker and small businessperson deserves to be paid for work they have done,” says Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams.

“These changes include removing the ability to co-mingle retention money with other money and assets; introducing regular reporting requirements; adding the need for contractors to confirm with the subcontractor the amount and location of the retention money being held; and harsher penalties for those who fail to comply with the retentions regime,” Williams said.

“Hard-working subcontractors need to feel confident that they will be paid what they are owed, so they can concentrate on building the houses, schools and hospitals across the country this Government has committed to.

“The retention provisions in the CCA were put in place to protect retention money owed to subcontractors in the event of a business failure, and to ensure retention money withheld is responsibly managed.

“While the regime is working well overall, a recent review highlighted ways it could be strengthened further.

“The proposed changes in the Bill reflect the findings of the review and will provide subcontractors with greater protection and confidence that in the event of insolvency, the money they are owed is still safe.

“The protection and transparency of retention money also helps maintain steady cash flow for construction businesses, and supports economic recovery efforts underway in the building and construction sector due to Covid-19.

“The Bill was developed following targeted consultation with the building and construction sector.”

The Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee will soon call for public submissions on the Bill.

“I encourage everyone to take part in this to process to help ensure a secure and transparent working environment for the more than 270,000 New Zealanders employed in the building and construction sector,” Williams said.

Hospitality NZ’s new training platform could be game-changer for industry

Hospitality NZ chief executive Julie White says Typsy is a proactive initiative designed to build hospitality’s future workforce in response to the dire skills shortage caused by closed borders and the industry’s historical reliance on skilled migrants. Photo Hospitality Business
Hospitality NZ chief executive Julie White says Typsy is a proactive initiative designed to build hospitality’s future workforce in response to the dire skills shortage caused by closed borders and the industry’s historical reliance on skilled migrants. Photo Hospitality Business

An online training platform by industry for industry that could be a game-changer for a hospitality industry beset by skills shortages in New Zealand has been launched this week by Hospitality New Zealand.

After an extensive global search, Hospitality New Zealand has secured Typsy to boost skills and capabilities of employees for operators and create tomorrow’s leaders.

Tyspy is an online tool with extensive hospitality training content that offers staff, from entry-level to middle management, a choice of courses covering the full range of hospitality categories – beverage, culinary, service, accommodation, housekeeping, business, management, compliance, and Covid.

It’s a partnership between Hospitality New Zealand and Typsy (tips made easy) and is exclusive to Hospitality New Zealand members.

It offers staff access to 1000 lessons that are delivered by videos ranging in length from five minutes to one hour. Staff complete all lessons and pass a short quiz to earn certificates. The courses are customisable by business owners who can set programmes to suit the skills they need, and then manage and track staff progress. Staff can access the courses on any device at anytime from anywhere.

Staff will have access to their own Knowledge Passport that will be updated as they progress through their training, and that will follow them as they progress through their career.

The platform can be accessed via a free app. The first year will be free for Hospitality New Zealand members.

Hospitality NZ chief executive Julie White says Typsy is a proactive initiative designed to build hospitality’s future workforce in response to the dire skills shortage caused by closed borders and the industry’s historical reliance on skilled migrants.

“It is like we are the forgotten industry by the Government. The Government is not seeing how big the skills shortage is in the hospitality industry, despite our best efforts, and how it is affecting and will continue to affect businesses’ ability to deliver the premium product and service they are renowned for the world over, so we had to do something about it.

“I’m very excited by this programme, which is all about future-focusing the industry to create better businesses with better staff and ultimately be a sector of choice for more New Zealanders.

“The great thing is it’s easily accessible from anywhere – in the city or in regions.

“It’s also wonderfully effective from an employer’s point of view, in that they can design their own modules to train the staff they need to build strong brand standards and they don’t have to have experienced people taking time away from their day-to-day jobs to show a newbie the ropes – because that’s part of the module they’ve chosen.

“It’s perfect for those newbies, who can learn hospitality and accommodation fundamentals in an instant, making speed to competency exceptional to improve industry standards.

“Our industry is staffed by many talented and dedicated professionals who have long provided on-the-job training that hasn’t been captured to add value to those who have chosen it as a career and also for those who transit through our industry by adding and upskilling soft skills. There are others who have fallen through the cracks during their education journey, including lacking even basic numeracy and literacy skills.

“Typsy will correct that gap with its modules that have been designed by experienced industry professionals.

“Being industry-expert led is key to what I believe could be a real game-changer for our industry.”

Members can register for Typsy via the Hospitality NZ website here: https://www.hospitality.org.nz/s/knowledge-hub