Having the right skills to supply the future job market is crucial in repositioning Ōtautahi Christchurch for social and economic prosperity.
Unemployment in the city was 4.2 percent, similar to the national average of 4.4 percent (as at the end of March 2020). Since the lockdown, the number of Jobseeker Support Recipients, an early indicator of unemployment levels, in Canterbury has increased by 35 percent compared to 31 percent growth nationally. We expect this rate to rise when the support of the central government wage subsidy is removed.
The impact of Covid-19 will be much clearer at the end of the June quarter. But in real terms, this means between 12,500 and 20,000 people will be unemployed in Christchurch over the next 12 months. That is why we are acting now to support people into new jobs and build a talent pipeline for the sectors that have job opportunities.
One of the first initiatives is a city-wide career and study expo on 6 August, at Vodafone Innova8, Tuam Street. Industry and tertiary partners will be delivering workshops and highlighting the types of employment and training opportunities that will be in-demand and advising on how people unemployed or looking to re-train to a future-focused sector can get involved.
This is an important first step in a programme of work that will address our current and future employment needs, with the ultimate goal of positioning Ōtautahi Christchurch with the right skills and employment opportunities to future-proof our economy and meet changing global demands.
We’ve got a one billion dollar opportunity waiting for us.
One billion is the amount spent on overseas tourism that Canterbury has the opportunity to retain, according to a report from Deloitte.
The figure is calculated by estimating how much outbound tourists spend overseas and apportioning this to each region, based on population.
This produces an estimate of how much spend could be redirected into the domestic market.
If Kiwis who would usually holiday overseas redirect some of their spending locally we have the opportunity to soften the economic blow to the visitor sector, keep businesses open and people in jobs – to the tune of one billion dollars.
Pre COVID-19, the 8,800 businesses in Canterbury’s tourism sector employed close to 70,000 people and contributed $4.9 billion to Gross Domestic Product – tourism represented one of the largest potential areas for growth.
It’s not hard to see why – Ōtautahi Christchurch has a growing reputation as a basecamp for exploration where visitors can explore nature’s playground from surf to summit, but also enjoy the flavour of NZ’s newest city and the gastro, cultural and scenic smorgasboard in between.
Over the coming months ChristchurchNZ will be working closely with local and national partners to leverage these unique selling points, to showcase our city and region to locals and invite Kiwis to explore all we have to offer.
We know our corner of New Zealand is one of the best and we’re ready to welcome visitors here and show them the spirit and beauty of Ōtautahi.
The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented.
If we are to save jobs and businesses, get the economy going again and ensure Christchurch is well positioned for the future, we need to do so together.
We have a chance to usher in a sustainable future by working together to save jobs, to support local businesses and to reposition Christchurch to deliver inter-generational wellbeing through a smart, sustainable and future focused economy.
It will take a collective commitment across the community and public and private enterprise to make this happen.
We need to balance necessary and urgent activity with longer-term recovery planning to usher in a sustainable future.
Our early economic recovery planning encourages people to think about working within three horizons: response, recovery and ultimately, repositioning the city for a stronger future.
In this early stage, one of the most powerful tools we have to hand is consumer spending.
Consumption accounts for 60 percent of economic activity, this means how you choose to spend your income makes a difference.
The money you spend on everyday items doesn’t just go to the business owner. It trickles through the community, it goes to workers, it goes to suppliers.
It keeps people in jobs.
I realise not everyone can spend and times will be tough for many.
But, if you are one of the lucky ones to come through COVID-19 with a job and your health, now is the time to spend locally to support businesses and keep people in their jobs.
Now that it’s well and truly the middle of winter, it’s great to see ChristchurchNZ’s new central city winter campaign really taking shape.
The message is simple: Baby Come Back.
The retro-styled campaign is aimed at encouraging Christchurch residents back into our central city, and to promote foot traffic through the retail, bars and restaurants in the CBD over the winter months and beyond.
It’s so positive and exciting to see a dedicated campaign aimed at supporting those businesses that have taken the lead in regenerating our CBD through their investments in our central city. It’s bold, vibrant, fun and showcases some of the great attractions in our own backyard.
It’s also local. It was created in collaboration with central city businesses and stakeholders, ensuring it can be leveraged by all parties.
To date we have seen positive trends in central city spending, with annual growth up by almost 15% compared to last year – driven by a combination of increased spending by local residents, residents from nearby regions and international visitors, with locals leading the charge.
Locals who come in to explore what’s on offer in the four avenues will find a number of new developments – such as the new boutique cinema Lumière at The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, and the soon-to-be completed Riverside Market, which will welcome more than 70 boutique vendors within the four inter-connected buildings in spring this year. It’s all adding up to a lot to come back to.
Our work is shaped by our surroundings and office space is vital in business. Often modern offices have a certain sameness – the blandness of a standard corporate look. Sheppard and Rout Architects set about overturning this convention when designing the fit-out for the new ChristchurchNZ offices in the BNZ Centre, a Canterbury regional NZIA awards entrant.
“ChristchurchNZ is the city’s economic development and profile agency charged with stimulating economic activity and attracting visitors to Ōtautahi Christchurch,” Sheppard and Rout Director Jasper van der Lingen says. “It needed to be a warm and friendly space; conducive to the development of ideas, an interesting and people-oriented place and one which would also showcase products from the region. We were working to a tight budget and had to be creative.”
The resulting 1200sqm space is both efficient and stylish with its mix of open plan work areas and break out/meeting rooms. “Flexibility was key, so there are meeting rooms for all different purposes – from the very small for privacy, up to mini conference size. Because visitors come to these rooms we made sure they were sited for the best views of the city and the Port Hills.”
The design also makes use of natural and sustainable materials; timber joinery around the meeting rooms for warmth and carpet tiles made from recycled fish nets echo the natural palette of browns, creams and charcoals, creating a calming mood and effect.
One feature which pushes the boundaries of what can be done with office space is the lack of suspended ceiling. “We simply got rid of it, exposed all the services and painted everything black. It gives a great sense of increased height.”