Rotorua is set to hit the spotlight as a campaign to attract skilled workers from Auckland and around the country gathers momentum.

Local business leaders say Rotorua faces ''a significant shortage across the board'' of workers and needs more ''talent''.

And Rotorua's mayor says the city has plenty of room, and the infrastructure, to accommodate newcomers.

The move comes as figures from the Ministry of Social Development show jobseeker numbers in the city have climbed despite Work and Income running skills-for-industry programmes targeted at employers.


There were 3469 people on the jobseeker benefit in Rotorua in the quarter to June compared with 3263 over the same time frame in 2016.

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce president John McRae said business confidence was the highest he had seen it in 25 years but getting the right people for jobs was an issue.

''We haven't got access to talent and it's across the board in all sectors.''

To combat the problem the chamber is about to survey its members on job vacancies and work in conjunction with the economic arm of the Rotorua Lakes Council to market them in other cities, including Auckland and Tauranga.

A full package would be promoted that included other aspects Rotorua had to offer.

''This is about the lifestyle and how you can work here, play here and have a great future. The jobs are out there, it is finding the right talent to come to Rotorua.''

Mr McRae hoped the campaign would be launched by Christmas.

In a written statement, Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer said Rotorua Economic Development Ltd has engaged with the chamber ''to discuss how we best support businesses attract talent to the destination''.

''We both share a desire to support businesses to find appropriate talent to run their businesses successfully."

It would continue to focus on talent attraction, positioning Rotorua as a place to live, work and learn, she said.

Talent ID Recruitment director Kellie Hamlett said in her view the market was fairly buoyant but she had noticed particular shortages within the chartered accounting sector, and trades such as general labouring, electricians, mechanical, and other specialist technical based roles.

The hardest roles to fill were accountancy, some of the technical trade based positions, and diesel mechanics, she said but it was not uncommon to get about 100 applicants for roles in hospitality or customer services.

A campaign to market Rotorua jobs out of town would be great, she said.

Deputy mayor and council economic development portfolio leader Dave Donaldson acknowledged the unemployment rate and said that was also a challenge.

''The message I am getting is yes, we have unemployed people but have they got the right skills? That is a challenge ... I know Destination Rotorua and the chamber are working actively with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology to see if programmes can be provided to upskill our workforce.''

But he applauded the initiative of the chamber in pursuing the idea and working collaboratively with Destination Rotorua on the project.

Mayor Steve Chadwick said she believed Rotorua's infrastructure could cope with an increasing population and more people moving from the major cities for jobs.

''The spatial plan will be released in a week and we are waiting for feedback to see where Rotorua will go and what size of growth we will have. The feedback from the draft consultation was we'd love a population of about 100,000 and at the moment we are 74,500 so we have plenty of room.''

MSD regional commissioner Mike Bryant said it had programmes in Rotorua in hospitality, construction, engineering, truck driving, forestry and civil construction.

Its Fast Track - AccorHotels led skills-for-industry programme in hospitality for 18 to 24-year-olds also resulted in 26 people moving into employment at hotels two weeks ago, he said.

Have you got talent?
• Rotorua Chamber of Commerce and Rotorua Economic Development Limited initiative
• Campaign to target cities including Auckland and Tauranga for workers
• Current shortages in chartered accounting sector, trades, electricians, mechanics, specialist technical role, manufacturing, retail, tourism and hospitality