Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction

  • Fletcher Tabuteau
Regional Economic Development

Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.

 The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are:

  • $393,500 to Waikato Tainui/Building and Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) for a work readiness programme to assist rangatahi to enter the construction industry
  • $646,450 to building company Emergent Skills NZ Ltd to set up a Locals Building Local Homes at Volume project.

Te Ara Mahi was established to support local people into local employment, address gaps in the current funding options for helping people upskill, strengthen the links between training and the industry to ensure employers can access a skilled workforce and lift regional productivity by promoting participation and inclusion, which is just what these projects announced today will achieve,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

 “The Waikato Tainui/BCITO Workstart Programme is a long term programme with a particular focus on helping rangatahi leaving secondary school, or who have already left, get started on a career in the building and construction industry.” 

 The funding will allow for a tailored 10 week work readiness programme to be established, which directly links into the wider programme, which is to support rangatahi into a three year NZQA construction apprenticeship qualification, and support to complete a further supervisor qualification towards leadership roles in construction. Waikato Tainui will be providing support, pastoral care, and mentoring.

 “The BCITO has strong connections to the burgeoning construction industry and its employers in the Waikato so they will be able to facilitate rangatahi into jobs that are close to home, while also supporting a growing industry with a skilled and ready workforce,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

 The Locals Building Local Homes at Volume Project, is led by Emergent Skills NZ Limited who will work closely with the local Institute of Technology Toi Ohomai and the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the programme.

 In the first two years of the programme, the goal is to target 100 people from Tokoroa and the surrounding South Waikato region to build at least 30 modular homes. The houses will then be sold to local housing providers, with sale proceeds being put back into the programme to allow for sustainability of the programme post PGF funding.

 “This is a great initiative and will help address the estimated shortage of over 700 houses in the South Waikato region,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

 Minister for Building and Construction, Hon Jenny Salesa, welcomed the announcement.

 “This is a fantastic opportunity for more of our rangatahi to get in and train to take on good quality construction jobs. The Provincial Growth Fund working with BCITO is a natural fit."

 "With a quarter of a trillion dollars worth of public and private construction activity forecast over the next five years, this Government is helping grow the construction workforce needed to build the houses, schools, hospitals, roads and rail New Zealand needs."

 Under Secretary Tabuteau said, “Both these projects combine upskilling local people with strong connections to the local and growing construction industry, underpinned with strong pastoral care, and it is great to see the PGF supporting provincial communities to work together, boost their economic growth, and improve the social outcomes of local people.

 “This means the industry wins, the region wins, and rangatahi and their families win,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

Notes to editors

 Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.