New Zealand / Canterbury

A hub to match job seekers with employers in Ashburton

19:36 pm on 8 December 2018

The mayor of Ashburton says she is feeling heartened by a positive response to her town's labour shortage.

Ashburton employers are struggling to find workers. Photo: Ashburton District Council

After a Labour Force Plan identified more than 500 vacancies in the Mid-Canterbury town five weeks ago, Ashburton mayor Donna Favel heard from numerous people interested in moving there.

Among them are people currently living in cities like Auckland and finding the cost of living too high.

Ms Favel said one thing that made a difference for employers and prospective employees was the creation of a new centralised job portal on the Ashburton District Council website.

The web page directs people to available job vacancies and in two weeks it had over 900 visits.

Ashburton mayor Donna Favel. Photo: Ashburton District Council

"People were often saying to me, 'Where are these 500 jobs? Because TradeMe doesn't have them all.' There was no one place you can look to and find the 500 jobs."

Until the portal was created she said some employers had given up advertising for positions and were working with one staff down.

"There has been really positive feedback from those who are looking for staff."

Ms Favel said the labour shortage was "certainly not unique to Ashburton" as other South Island councils reported similar issues.

But Ashburton District Council was not done with its work to fill the town's vacancies, she said.

In the New Year, the council would be looking at more initiatives to attract and retain newcomers and make Ashburton a welcoming place to live.