A theme that came through in the Business Opinion Survey was the issue West Coast businesses have in finding skilled staff. In fact, almost half of the business owners who responded to the survey identified this as a major challenge to the ongoing success of their business.

This is not something DWC can address alone, however we can work with the community to advocate for a curriculum that aims to meet the unique needs of our region and look to ensure that both our students and their prospective employers benefit.

The Government has just commenced a review of NCEA and invites us all to provide feedback on the way this qualification system works. We see this as an excellent opportunity for West Coast businesses. By taking part we can outline what changes might specifically help our young people develop the critical skills, attitudes, and competencies needed for the West Coast to develop and maintain a diverse and highly capable workforce.

As a small community, this is especially important. Our business owners are also parents of the young people we want the best for, so the benefit of taking part in this review is two-fold. Submissions are open to the public now at www.conversation.education.govt.nz/NCEA.