New Zealand’s ‘Go With Tourism’ employment initiative has temporarily altered its focus in the midst of the COVID-19 downturn, launching new services to help existing workers find support in the event of a redundancy.
The program has launched a free service focusing on redeployment, guidance, advice and educational pathways for affected workers to help them find new roles where available or other ways to access work during the downturn. This will be done via the collection of real-time data, which will be collated and shared across its industry subscriber database.
‘Go With Tourism’ is a joint initiative of Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), designed to educate young and unemployed people about the benefits of a career in tourism and hospitality and a portal to allow businesses to reach new sources of labour, recruit trainees and to advertise their vacancies. The program was recently awarded a NZ$5.2 million grant from the International Visitor Levy to expand nationwide.
Under its new temporary direction, the platform will facilitate one-on-one phone and video support calls, access to a new Knowledge Hub and specialised innovation sessions to help guide tourism industry workers through the slump and provide support to the business community.
Program Director, Matt Stenton, said that someday soon, the industry will look to its emerging workforce to rebuild once the COVID-19 disaster passes and that it was important these talented individuals were not lost now.
“Tourism has gone from being New Zealand’s number one export industry to the hardest hit industry as a result of COVID-19, and many within this hugely talented group of workers and operators are now in a really tough situation,” he said.
Go With Tourism will now reach out to the wider community to identify businesses classed as ‘Essential Services’ as defined by the New Zealand government in order to place newly-redundant tourism workers into suitable roles.
“Some businesses will not survive, while others will be fundamentally different when they start operating again,” added Tourism Industry Aotearoa Advocacy Manager, Steve Hanrahan.
“But the industry will definitely want to do all we can to retain the skills and expertise of our workers, and this pivot by Go with Tourism is important in enabling this.”