The Waikato region has seen a 95% annual increase in new BCITO building apprentice sign-ups, suggesting a positive uptake of the Government’s Re-boot subsidy and signs that the region’s building industry is rebounding.
The announcement was made at an event in Hamilton which was hosted by the BCITO and attended by Prime Minister John Key, bringing together leaders in Waikato’s construction sector.
BCITO chief executive Ruma Karaitiana said that Waikato apprentice numbers had risen in the first half of 2013 to 211, from 108 during the same period in 2012 — a truly incredible result for the region.
“Anecdotally, our training advisors report increased activity in the region, and a feeling of optimism,” Mr Karaitiana said.
“Of course, Re-boot is helping to push things along too, with employers opting to train now rather than wait. The industry will need all the skill it can get in coming years, so this is a good outcome.”
Mr Key said the increasing house prices in Auckland would likely see some prospective house buyers set their sights on Hamilton.
“Every time you see a housing boom in Auckland, Hamilton house prices have gone up,” he said.
“At the end of the day it is cheaper here, much more affordable and better quality of living. So you’ll definitely see an increase, in my view, in house prices in Hamilton and Tauranga. It’s just a natural flow-on effect to what’s happening in Auckland.”
The BCITO has also seen a 38% increase in apprenticeship sign-ups right across the country, with Auckland experiencing a 54% increase, closely followed by a 47% increase in Christchurch.
“These are really encouraging numbers for our building industry, and will require employers to be committed to passing on their skills and knowledge so apprentices are well equipped for demand,” Mr Karaitiana said.
“With the Government committed to investing in trade apprentices and their employers, coupled with increased demand for skilled labour, career seekers are starting to recognise the opportunities available in the building sector.”
Mr Karaitiana also stressed the important part that industry players had in promoting building careers to their networks.
“With a multi-billion dollar building boom on the horizon, we’re going to need lots more skilled people. Our research of BCITO apprentices shows that their family networks are the key influencing factor when considering career options.
“Families and friends make up the building industry, so there is a great opportunity for them to spread the word about the great career opportunities available.”