Staffing shortages: 315,000 new workers just became available to New Zealand employers

As Kiwi businesses desperately struggle to find staff amid a dire worker shortage, teenagers and school leavers could be the solution. 

New Zealand's 315,000 working-age teenagers and high school leavers are being urged to take a paid hospitality job over summer to not only make some money but also learn vital skills. 

And it won't just benefit them, it could be a great solution for businesses that are desperately struggling to find workers. 

New Zealand has a dire worker shortage in part due to extremely low unemployment of just 3.3 percent or 97,000 people. 

Barcats is a digital platform that helps train and connect hospitality employers with job seekers. Its CEO Jeffrey Williams told AM on Monday teenagers and school leavers can make great employees. And for teenagers getting a summer job in hospo can help set them up with key skills. 

"There is no better time to get off the couch, out of bed and get your first job," Williams said. 

"It's where you get your life skills for evermore, even if you want to be a doctor or an engineer in the future, this is where you come and get your absolute basic skills of building your confidence. So hospitality's a fantastic place to come and try out."

Williams said while there's really no strict age barrier, from 13 years and up is a great place to start. 

"It really is just a great social network, a place where you learn things like time management, responsibility, cash management, all those sorts of things that quite frankly, over the next few years you're going to rely upon."

Barcats graduate Tyla Sim told AM she's recently undergone training and is now searching for her very first job. 

Sim said her training covered most areas of hospitality including fine dining, cocktail service, and food prep and hygiene.

She said hospitality is a great job to learn basic but important skills. 

"I think it's just like a really great base job to start with because it helps you with things all through life, you know, just basic things."

Most industries across the country are dealing with staff shortages as low unemployment and wage rises from inflation put increasing pressure on employers. 

Tourism and hospitality have been particularly hard hit and are facing a busy season as international tourists flock into the country over the busy summer period. 

Watch the full interview above.