9000 building apprentices still not enough to meet growing demand

9000 building apprentices still not enough to meet growing demand
October 8, 2014

The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) is experiencing unprecedented growth in new apprenticeships, but the construction industry still remains woefully short on skilled tradespeople.

Now with 9000 apprentices in training, having signed on an average of 106 new sign-ups per week in 2014, BCITO Chief Executive Ruma Karaitiana says it’s still not enough to meet growing demand.

“All of the construction trades across the board, from carpentry to painting and brick & block laying, are under huge amounts of pressure, and all the data says this pressure will continue into the 2020s,” he says.

“We’ve come out of a period where because of the recession we weren’t building enough houses to maintain normal demand, particularly in Auckland. Then unfortunately we had the Christchurch earthquakes leading to large rebuild projects, which have only compounded the pressure. The result is an extremely high demand environment and we simply don’t have the number of skilled tradespeople to meet that demand.”

Mr Karaitiana says the industry needs to spend more time and resource planning for its future skills and labour needs and individual businesses need to stay in tune with the rest of the industry.

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