Service sector focus on retail skills

coffee, cafeA new workforce development plan created by ServiceIQ in consultation with industry leaders calls for increased skill levels to deliver future success for the country’s vital service industries. The plan and associated sector infographics are free to download from the ServiceIQ website at

ServiceIQ CEO, Dean Minchington, says: “Business success depends on people and nowhere is this truer than in the service industry. Domestic consumers and international visitors will choose to spend their money where they experience consistently high levels of customer service.

“This workforce development plan will help ensure that we have workers with the skills needed to achieve business success and make New Zealand’s service industry truly world-class.”

Employing more than a quarter of the country’s workers, NZ’s service industry is one of its largest export earners, and is expected to strongly contribute to NZ’s economic growth over the next five to 10 years.

To maximise potential growth, the sector is pulling together to make sure employees have the right mix of skills that can be put to good use.

The sector’s shared overarching vision is for a world-class service industry through qualified people. To achieve this vision, and develop the skills of the workforce, the whole industry needs to respond to current challenges and changes shaping it. These include: a changing workforce due to ethnic diversity and age, people wanting more flexible working arrangements, use of dnew technologies, and satisfying customers’ needs in a highly competitive global market.

The workforce development plan sets out a framework for responding to those changes, and focuses on six priorities for developing skills in relevant sectors.

Businesses across the sectors, from retail to quick service restaurants, are undertaking a range of initiatives to increase skills, fast track careers and retain experienced and qualified employees.

An example is Kaye Fraser of McDonald’s, Invercargill, who started out five years ago doing basic duties at the restaurant. She was a 38 year old single mother raising four children who wanted qualifications that would lead to a better job. Thanks to on-job training, Kaye upskilled and gained several nationally recognised qualifications, including a diploma in hospitality. Today she is the manager of the one of the restaurant chain’s top performing stores in NZ and was recently awarded a McDonald’s Manager of the Year Award in Los Angeles.

ServiceIQ is the industry training organisation for the service industry. It provides on-job training programmes and represents the skill needs for 11 service industries, which span tourism, hospitality, travel, cafes, bars and restaurants, quick service restaurants, retail, wholesale, museums and aviation.

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