New Zealand’s construction sector is rapidly growing in the wake of the recession, and with skilled workers in short supply, new efforts are being made to channel apprentices into the building industry.
Workers are in high demand, as $100 billion of construction work is planned for the coming years. As we have covered here, there is a particular shortage in skilled scaffolders, but as Stuff.co.nz has reported, the shortage exists across the industry, with demand for:
- brick layers;
- quantity surveyors;
- building scientists;
- civil, structural and other infrastructure engineers; and
- commercial building specialists, for instance, lift and fire specialists and tunnel and bridge engineers.
Education facilitators such as the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) are working to raise awareness and recruit more school leavers into the industry. With the construction sector predicted to grow 3.2 per cent per annum until at least 2017, resourcing will be an issue going forward.
Increasing apprenticeships and industry training will eventually reduce the skills shortage, but this is a long term solution to a current issue. In the meantime, the risk exists that construction projects are being completed by people who may not have the level of skill required for the job. This highlights the importance of having a thorough quality assurance system in place to ensure that projects are meeting all requirements and high standards are being maintained.