BSCNZ, MSD enter industry partnership programme

BSCNZ, MSD announce industry partnership programme as part of a joint effort to minimise sector's labour shortage.

The Building Service Contractors of New Zealand (BSCNZ) has announced an industry partnership programme with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) as part of a joint effort to minimise the industry’s labour shortage.

Under the agreement, launched this week at the BSCNZ’s biennial industry conference in Taupo, BSCNZ will be the official national work broker for the commercial cleaning industry.

The contract, to commence from October 2019, will see BSCNZ work with MSD to identifying and assess candidates suitable for work in the sector.

Sarah McBride, CEO of the BSCNZ, said the partnership is a “game changer” for the association and its members.

MSD’s Kal Marsden said the ministry is excited to be working in partnership with BSCNZ to support the commercial cleaning sector with its workforce needs.

Candidates referred to by MSD will be screened by BSCNZ to ensure suitability, including verbal interviews, face-to-face interviews, and assessments including literacy comprehension and a health assessment. Candidates will then be available for interviewing by BSCNZ members.

Employers will be required to sign an agreement to participate and receive a wage subsidy incentive, equal to at least 30 hours per week at a minimum wage for the first six weeks of employment.

The agreement will also offer incentive payments for employers where MSD clients remain in employment for three months and then six months. The BSCNZ has also appointed an employment broker to facilitate the process at the conference.

It is estimated the commercial cleaning industry has a labour shortage of between 2000 and 3000 cleaners.

“These statistics underline how important is it for industries to promote the career opportunities they provide and to grow their potential labour force by encouraging workers into their sectors,” Marsden said.

“Industry partnerships are a way for industry and government to work together, to minimise skills and labour shortages and maximise job opportunities.”

According to Marsden the ministry has a potential talent pool of 70,000 job seekers on its registry, of which 10,000 have indicated cleaning as one of their job choices or have a previous work history that includes a cleaning role.

“The ministry has been engaging nationally with many cleaning sector employers for a number of years. Together we have enabled many unemployed people the chance to work in the cleaning sector, but we can do better.”

The agreement is part of a framework of initiatives launched following the release of the cleaning industry engagement review, a report conducted by MSD and an independent consulting firm earlier this year. The review provided insights into the sector, along with a number of key recommendations.

The NZ Security Association launched a similar partnership programme almost 12 months ago.

The security industry is understood to have around 80 per cent turnover of staff in the first six months; however, individuals placed through the industry partnership programme have equated to 75 per cent retention.

The cleaning industry is estimated to have around 60 per cent turnover in the first six months.

The BSCNZ and MSD have also jointly funded and produced two recruitment videos to promote the sector, which Marsden said highlights the opportunities and the challenges of working as a commercial cleaner.

INCLEAN NZ attended the BSCNZ conference as a guest of the BSCNZ.

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