Posted: 31 July 2018
Over the last two months MBIE has run a series of workshops with industry to discuss approaches to addressing the construction industry skills shortage. The workshops included discussion of the Action Plan which was presented to Cabinet back in May.
The Action Plan includes initiatives to mobilise both government and the sector to start training people now to ensure the skills pipeline responds to the demands of KiwiBuild across the country. The plan supports the broader Construction Skills Strategy, which aims to ensure New Zealand has the construction workforce it needs now and in the future. As we learn more about what skills will be required for the changing industry, the strategy can be used as a vehicle to help the sector stay ahead of the change. The plan is expected to be considered and confirmed by Cabinet in August.
The National Construction Pipeline report 2018 was released yesterday and provides a projection of national building and construction activity for the next six years, ending 31 December 2023. Of note from the report is that total new construction value shows continual growth for the forecast period. This is unique compared with previous years which have a peak followed by a decline in activity – so it is a welcome shift away from New Zealand’s usual ‘boom-bust’ cycle. These cycles have reduced the certainty and confidence the sector needed to grow skills and workforce – and keep them.
The construction sector is New Zealand’s fourth largest employer, employing over 250,000 people. But we need more. Government cannot address this shortage alone. With the guaranteed pipeline of work provided by KiwiBuild, the support provided by the Action Plan, and now the projections from the Pipeline report, there is an expectation the sector will invest in skills over the long term.
Earlier in July MBIE released an addendum to the original Independent Panel's investigation report into the partial floor collapse that occurred at Wellington's Statistics House during the 14 November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake. This sort of work is central to MBIE’s role as regulator with a responsibility to ensure our buildings keep people safe. You can find out more about the addendum in this issue of Codewords and read it on the MBIE website.
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