Talent deficit or Talent ready? Building the foundations to prepare for the Future of Work. 

The Future of Work: Global talent crunch

“A major crisis is looming over organisations and economies throughout the world. By 2030, demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply, resulting in a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people. Signs are already emerging that within two years there won’t be enough talent to go around… the financial impact of this (global) talent shortage could reach $8.452 trillion in unrealised annual revenue by 2030” – KornFerry (https://www.kornferry.com/insights/featured-topics/future-of-work)

While these statistics are alarming, preparation and early action is your key to success and ensuring continued growth. The Western Bay of Plenty has an opportunity to actively shape our talent market. Locally, we have seen a rapid uptake of technology advancements, AI and efficiency improvements across multiple industries and business sizes. Further to this, we are urging our business members to take a close look at the value of human capital and how we can work as a team to leverage our people for a sustainable economy .


While the region is abundant in potential, talent shortages persist, driven not necessarily by a lack of people but by a scarcity of essential skills. This deficit underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive talent strategy to unleash the full potential of our workforce and drive sustainable economic development.

Strategic human resource development emerges as the linchpin in addressing this challenge, holding the key to both sustainable economic growth and individual empowerment. It is imperative that we prioritise talent development, skills-based workforces, equality of opportunity, education, training, and upskilling initiatives to equip our workforce with the necessary capabilities to thrive in the future of work.

Central to Priority One’s regional talent strategy is the recognition that jobs will evolve rather than disappear. The demand for individuals who can innovate, create, manage, and apply new developments will continue to grow, underscoring the importance of fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation.

Education and Early Talent Pipelines

While the government plays a crucial role in shaping responsive education programs, it is equally essential for organisations to take the lead in reimagining talent pipelines and investing in people development and recruitment. Equal opportunities must be extended to all, ensuring that every individual has the chance to contribute to and benefit from our collective prosperity.

We have seen several of our members demonstrate the effectiveness of building their talent pipelines early, by recruiting directly from schools or during university. This earn and learn approach both reduces recruitment costs and allows for tailored training aligned with the company’s specific culture and workflow.

However, to bridge the gap between educational institutions and workplaces, efforts to enhance internship programs, build further connections between education and business and develop skill and career roadmaps must be intensified.  

We see this as an opportunity for the Western Bay of Plenty to lead New Zealand in revolutionising how we recruit, train, and develop our young and diverse workforce, accessing talent early, to build innovative and strong teams.

Work with us

The time to address the talent crunch is now. By leveraging Priority One initiatives such as Instep (connecting local schools and businesses), Ara Rau (supporting youth pathways to work), the Young Innovators Awards yia! (providing students with design-thinking and work-ready skills), Business Beyond Usual (our talent education programme for businesses), and our partnership programs such as the Summer open Lab with the University of Waikato, we can cultivate the future workforce actively. Together, we can build a resilient, adaptable, and future-ready workforce that drives sustainable growth and prosperity in the Western Bay of Plenty and its people.

Together, we can build a resilient, adaptable, and future-ready workforce that drives sustainable growth and prosperity in the Western Bay of Plenty. For more information or to get involved contact: yia! Project Manager Meg Davis or Instep Manager Vee de Koster or Ara Rau Operations Manager Mary Stewart.