One Warkworth’s Industrial and Commercial Group meets quarterly to identify issues that affect the sector, as well as using the opportunity to network with similar-minded business owners. These have been well supported, with 30-plus people attending the most recent event. All four local politicians – Mark Mitchell, Jenny Marcroft, Tracey Martin and Marja Lubeck – as well as Cr Greg Sayers, Rodney Local Board members and representatives from ATEED regularly attend these meetings, so the group has been able to form very important links. This means its voice is heard at these levels.
Most recently, Auckland Council planners Warren MacLennan and Ryan Bradley attended. They provided important insights into the current Warkworth Structure Plan process, which will affect all businesses, as well as residents. They highlighted the real need for the business community to get involved in the process by making submissions and attending workshops run by Council. It was pleasing to see recent workshops in the Warkworth Town Hall well attended by members of One Warkworth Business Association.
Staff shortages is a common problem identified by many in this group. Recently, the careers advisor at Mahurangi College accepted an invitation to join the group and subsequently, an After Five event was held by the college. The presentation by the careers advisors was well received by those who attended. It is clear the college understands there is a place in the workforce for those students that either don’t wish to advance, or don’t have the academic requirements to proceed, to tertiary education. They also understand that there is an ever-increasing gap between life as a student and the expectations of employers. Businesses considering employing trainees should contact the college to understand what resources they offer.
The next meeting date is yet to be set, but will be advertised. We encourage more business owners and managers in the industrial and commercial sector to take a couple of hours out of their busy schedules to become involved with this group. For more information, contact One Warkworth manager Murray Chapman on 0274 966 550 or email@example.com.
Hugh Harvey, Industrial and Commercial