After 12 months of Job Advertisements falling off a cliff, February was the bottom of that cliff and March job vacancies started the climb back. March job openings grew by 38% from February as the first signs of the Trans-Tasman bubble announcement began to turn businesses minds to reopening and preparation. Accommodation providers especially came out of hibernation as the realisation that the return of International tourists would require and some heavy bookings for school holidays - just about every role to be found. Year on year the March job numbers are half of 2020’s prior to lock down and only 25% of last year to date.
Year to date there have been 559 positions advertised which is 75% less than the year prior.
April has accelerated the Job Vacancies advertisements with the arrival of the first International flights with early indications that 2021 advertisements getting back to the 2019 levels. April 2020 saw almost no advertisements over the lockdown period.
Tragically, there are never going to be enough New Zealanders who will call Queenstown home to fill the number of roles available in the tourism related sectors of the local economy so finding staff is going to continue to be problematic and require different solutions over a longer period. One initiative is a trial programme aimed at keeping people in tourism jobs, while giving them new training opportunities but many more initiaitiives will be required to fill the roles that will be required in the months and years ahead.
The programme ‘Train, Retain and Regain 2021’ will be piloted in and Queenstown Lakes, Te Anau and the Mackenzie District.