The construction labour force is not catching up with the immense construction boom in Auckland. Contrary to the positive trend, the city’s unemployment rate is still above the national average at 6.6 percent.
The robust and seemingly omnipresent building and construction activities around Auckland have generated thousands of jobs; however, the shortage is evident as there are projects that should have been completed but remains unfinished, new constructions
sites everywhere without the sufficient amount of construction professionals.
”We’ve got quite a number of people coming out of schools with trades abilities and they want to get into trade, but the pathways
aren’t that good.” said Steve Fowler, the chief executive of Macrennie Commercial Construction. Professionals within the industry suggests that a better immigration policy and foreign labour force are great solutions to tackle the labour shortage within the country. The managing director of recruitment company, Labour Exchange, David Devereux mentions that the quality of foreign labourers were at a satisfactory level for construction jobs within the country, such as labourers from Mexico for example. He believes a good foreign policy and immigration rules are necessary to allow more foreign labour force injection.
It is also suggested to maintain this high level of building activity, graduates and people coming out of school need to be provided with a clearer pathway to enter the industry. This is severely lacking which is evident of the local labour shortage. Offering more opportunities to female professionals to the construction is also very crucial, which has increased significantly in the devoted effort of NAWIC, National Association of Women in Construction.
Companies are also looking at more new products and construction skill sets from overseas. A smarter and more flexible immigration policy will propel the country’s robust construction growth significantly.