Urgent need for labour in Auckland’s construction industry

The Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) forecasts that the shortage of labour is expected to increase by 4.7 per cent, twice the national job growth rate by 2019.

The national construction value is expected to peak at $37 billion in 2017, mentioned in The National Construction Pipeline Report last year.

Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry predicts one in five new jobs created between 2016 and 2019 would be in construction.

Peter Silcock, chief executive of Civil Contractors, suggested training and recruiting a diverse workforce would top the company’s agenda to provide suitable labour for the changing market. “There is no doubt that the face of our industry is changing; there is more technology, more innovation, more women are joining the industry and more training is being offered. We need more skilled workers and the reality is that a lot of the training will need to be done on the job, which means that people can earn as they learn,” he added.

He also highlights the importance of career paths, retention, safety, career support and active recruitment throughout the process.

As one of the major industries in the country, Civil Infrastructure is made up of 600 businesses and 40,000 employees nationwide, with a $20 billion annual turnover.

With the launch of the Civil Trades Certification program in late 2015, the formal certification allows qualified civil workers to be recognised as professionals.

“Increasingly our people are very well qualified craftspeople and as an industry, we need to get better at recognising and rewarding their skills and expertise,” Silcock said.

Statistics NZ figures also reported a labour shortage in construction showing that almost 80 per cent of construction firms had a lack of labour last year. Around 75 per cent of the respondents expressed the need for staff and nearly 60 per cent of them had hard-to-fill vacancies.

The annual business operation survey from Statistics NZ included almost 40,000 businesses in the sector.