Assistance will be available via gowithtourism.co.nz and a member of staff will be in touch within two working days to offer personalised support.
The new platform will also be a one-stop-shop for those wanting to upskill themself, with free courses available online and options to explore educational pathways.
Go with Tourism has undergone a change in direction in response to COVID-19.
The initiative launched in April 2019 as a job connector to address a growing skills shortage in the tourism industry. After joining forces with Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), Go with Tourism received $5.2million in funding from the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy to expand the programme nationwide.
Programme Director, Matt Stenton, says that in the current climate it is important to shift focus to supporting our tourism workforce. “Tourism has gone from being New Zealand’s number one export industry to the hardest hit industry as a result of COVID-19, and many within this hugely talented group of workers and operators are now in a really tough situation.
“Someday soon we will look to these people to rebuild our tourism industry. We have to look after them now to ensure we don’t lose them.”
Go with Tourism will switch back to a rebuild strategy when New Zealand is ready.
The change of focus for Go with Tourism has the full support of Tourism Industry Aotearoa, on behalf of the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust. TIA Advocacy Manager Steve Hanrahan says TIA is doing all it can to support the thousands of tourism workers impacted by COVID-19.
“Some businesses will not survive, while others will be fundamentally different when they start operating again. But the industry will definitely want to do all we can to retain the skills and expertise of our workers, and this pivot by Go with Tourism is important in enabling this”
Support has also been given by Go with Tourism’s Industry Advisory Group, made up of representatives from TIA, ATEED, Hospitality New Zealand, Restaurant Association of New Zealand, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
ATEED’s General Manager of Destination, Steve Armitage, says that ATEED will provide further short-term support to assist Go with Tourism. “This is an important move that will provide a lifeline to many hardworking people who have suddenly found themselves out of work, whilst also ensuring a pipeline of key personnel support is accessible for a range of businesses providing essential services at this time.”
Next steps for Go with Tourism involve connecting and collaborating with all industry organisations and associations to support the tourism workforce to the full extent.
Businesses classed as essential services, which are in need of staff, are encouraged to reach out to Go with Tourism, who will help place the right people into the right roles.
Throughout this period, Go with Tourism will gather real time data and insights which can be collaboratively shared with industry to identify areas of greatest need and support.