The Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki is heavily linked to our regional growth aspirations.
Over the forty years WITT has been in operation, it has made a significant contribution to the regional economy. Venture Taranaki, in partnership with WITT, undertook an economic impact assessment to look at the size and scale of that contribution.
Our research found that WITT has bolstered the regional economy in a number of ways – notably though operational spending at an institutional level, through the expenditure of its students, and by growing the ‘human capital’ – the injection that comes with higher salaries that WITT graduates earn as a result of their qualifications. These are all included in the economic analysis.
The report found that in 2011 the expenditure of WITT, its staff and students lead to a direct injection of $72.9 million into Taranaki’s economy.
When economic flow-ons are also included - spin-offs into areas like retail, wholesale, and transport, the regional benefits total $130 million.
WITT contributes $55.84 million to annual regional GDP, but it should be noted that this doesn’t include the gains in salary that a WITT graduate achieves upon entering the Taranaki workforce. A high level calculation suggests that this salary impact contributes a further $30 million to regional GDP.
Over the next decade, Venture Taranaki found that an additional $36 million will be contributed to the Taranaki economy by WITT’s graduates.
Beyond the research there are many other benefits of having WITT resident in Taranaki. For example, the facility provides an accessible avenue to improve the skills of the local workforce and helps foster a culture of learning which is central to Taranaki‘s regional economic development strategy.
For our region’s businesses, having a more skilled workforce enhances competitiveness and productivity. For individuals, having skills and qualifications help to pave the way for greater career opportunities and higher wages.
Taranaki’s economic future depends on fostering a regional culture where skills and a commitment to learning are leveraged to drive innovation and growth. A talented community boosts both the economic and social fabric of the region, and this in turn helps lift regional performance and reputation. The research demonstrates that WITT is having exactly that positive effect on Taranaki, and it remains critically linked to Taranaki’s medium and long-term growth.