News: Toi EDA Chair Appointed to Regional Skills Leadership Group


Toi EDA’s acting Chair, John Galbraith, has been appointed to the newly-announced Interim Regional Skills Leadership Group and will bring a strong Eastern Bay voice to the Board.

The Skills Leadership Groups were formed in June 2020 to identify and support better ways of meeting future skills and workforce needs. Their role will be to ensure a joined-up approach to labour market planning – making sure workforce, education and immigration systems are working together to meet the specific needs of each region.

John Galbraith said that the role would be a great opportunity to address immediate COVID-19 retraining requirements and to create a strong pathway for young people.

“We have some strong existing industries in our region and we have even more emerging opportunities due to funding coming though from the Provincial Growth Fund. This Group will be focussed on ensuring we have empowered and qualified local rangatahi ready to fill needs in existing and growth sectors.

“We are mandated to be the ‘eyes and the ears on the ground’ to provide a current snapshot and also a forward view of the skills and labour needs of the Bay of Plenty’s industries and employers,” Mr Galbraith said.
John has been a pioneer in many workforce development initiatives across the EBOP and is currently the Chair of the EBOP Workforce Advisory Board, which has been championing the needs for localised training initiatives for our local community needs for several years.

He said that it was vital that we keep our talent here locally, rather than having them leave to get trained and not coming home.
“At this time of great uncertainty and unemployment due to the current COVID19 crisis there is a real opportunity for people to retrain and gain formal qualifications for the work that they had often been doing over many years in the workplace,” Mr Galbraith said. 

In spite of the “headwind” the economy faced due to COVID-19, John sees a bright future for the Eastern Bay.
“The PGF have announced over $200million so far in local investment and the opportunity for future Crown Infrastructure funding is likely to be known in the coming weeks.

“Many of the signs in the eastern Bay are that we are emerging from this crisis ahead of many other parts of the country. We have a solid primary industry and ongoing investment in high value horticulture, the new rail hub in Kawerau, the marine and tourism sectors in Whakatane and the new harbour to service the aquaculture sector in Opotiki.
“These initiatives have been years in the making and we are fortunate to have these already underway to create thousands of jobs in the Eastern Bay,” Mr Galbraith said.

The Bay of Plenty RSLG region covers Mataatua (Eastern Bay of Plenty), Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo. The group brings together industry leaders, economic development agencies,