Politicians are not doing the math on NZ’s building workforce

In the lead-up to the national elections, both the Labour and National parties have announced ‘affordable housing’ initiatives as part of their election campaigns. However the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) has raised concerns about the workforce that will be required to undertake these policies.

BCITO has noted that despite registering the 9000th apprentice last month, building industry apprentice numbers need to lift by a further 3000 to meet the projected demand for qualified builders in three years’ time.

BCITO’s communications manager is reported as saying that there are simply not enough people interested in careers in the building and construction industry, to the point that there are no people to put in contact with employers looking for apprentices. BCITO says that the issue is most concerning in Auckland and Christchurch.

We find this report from BCITO surprising, given the amount of publicity the construction sector has been given recently, and so far it isn’t clear why apprentice numbers haven’t increased as a consequence.

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