Businesses are being urged to invest in their people, rather than keep replacing workers on minimum wage.
A new report from the Helen Clark Foundation and the Institute of Economic Research is calling for a boost to the minimum wage, and telling employers to think long term.
Bosses should provide development opportunities for people 'stuck' in low wage positions, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.
Institute deputy chief executive Todd Krieble told Mike Hosking the industry needs a reset.
"Now's the time for change because it's cheap to borrow and we can't continue to rely on on low wage migrant workers to fuel the economy."
Krieble says employers need to be thinking of how to retain staff and improve overall performance.
He says investing in people will provide more output and increased efficiency.