Construction growth creating job opportunities

  • Paul Goldsmith
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has today released the Future Demand for Construction Workers Report 2017, the updated forecast of New Zealand’s need for workers in building and construction through to 2022.

“Demand for skills across the board is at fever pitch, but nowhere more so than in construction, which in the year to June employed over 18,200 more people across New Zealand, the second largest contributor to annual employment growth,” Mr Goldsmith says. 

The number of people expected to be employed in construction occupations is projected to increase by 10 per cent by 2022, adding around 56,000 employees, increasing the total construction workforce to 571,300.

“The total value of building and construction work forecast over the next six years is expected to top $244 billion, and all of that investment needs skilled construction workers to bring it to reality,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“Our intention is not just to provide accurate forecasts of the value of this work. We want to support planning for this important part of our national workforce.”

The new report and its web application allows anyone to check forecasts for 62 construction occupations across New Zealand. That information will enable construction firms to better plan their workforces, and encourage expanded training by education providers.

“The Government is actively supporting the training of more skilled workers to meet the demand for new housing and construction. Through initiatives such as Trades Academies, Vocational Pathways, the Dual Pathways Pilot, Maori and Pasifika Trades Training, and industry training through the ITOs, we have a significant pipeline for delivering skilled workers,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“We have the funding to take on anyone willing to take up an apprenticeship, and have funded 7,500 new apprentices over the past year. The Government is willing to put the resources in, but we also need the support of parents, teachers, careers advisors, and businesses if we are to get more young Kiwis into the trades.”

“In 2016 the number of new starts for apprenticeships like carpentry, plumbing and electrical engineering were at the highest levels in nearly a decade. We now have over 43,000 apprentices in training, and are on the way to our goal of 50,000 by 2020,” Mr Goldsmith says.

The Future Demand for Construction Workers Report 2017 and web application are located at