From the BCITO’s perspective, things are definitely starting to happen in Christchurch.
Training agreements are rolling in, enquiries are up, and Canterbury web site traffic to www.bcito.org.nz has hit a two-year high. Hopefully this is just the start of things to come.
But really, this is to be expected. It is estimated that an additional 36,000 workers will be needed by the time of peak reconstruction in the third quarter of 2013. Of these, 23,900 will be needed in the trades, including carpenters, concreters and plasterers.
The Department of Labour report for the Canterbury Employment and Skills Board (CESB, December 2011) states that the area requires 10,000 new houses, plus repairs to a further 105,500 homes, followed by a commercial rebuild over 15 years.
Employment in the Canterbury construction industry has grown strongly (up 18%), which suggests that the rebuild is already having an impact on employment demand within the Canterbury construction sector. And the demand for workers is growing.
In Christchurch at the moment, there are about 1800 carpenters and joiners, but a further 4800 will be needed at the peak September 2013 period.
Likewise, an extra 2700 painters will be needed during the peak, from the current number of 600.
However, it’s also interesting to note that the rest of New Zealand also seems to be on a bit of a training splurge, especially Auckland.
The BCITO is getting enquiries from across the country, even in areas which have been quiet for the past couple of years. It will be interesting to see if all this recent activity is a seasonal aberration or, in fact, the start of the next building cycle.
For employers out there who are starting to get busy, think about upskilling your team or putting on extra apprentices.
The BCITO has introduced a new job-matching service whereby it can put employers in contact with motivated prospective builders.
But they’re getting snapped up quick! So don’t leave it too late.
To enquire, call 0800 4 BCITO.