Careers Expo aims to help construction, engineering and trade sectors meet fast-growing workforce re

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Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skills shortage list features more than 50 occupational groups, including construction, engineering and trades.

Increased demand for workers in these sectors is being fuelled by the Canterbury rebuild, large roading and infrastructure projects, a recovering commercial building sector, and Auckland Council’s plans to ensure 39,000 additional residential houses are consented over the next three years.

However, there is a shortage of workers in many of the areas required to meet the requirements of the construction, engineering and trade sectors.

“The building industry alone needs 5000 new skilled tradespeople, and that figure omits related trades such as scaffolders, gasfitters or those skilled in air conditioning,” according to Careers Expo director Mark Gillard.

“The Careers Expo provides an ideal platform to engage with young people entering the job market in New Zealand, inform them about the possible career paths available, and recruit them into apprenticeships and on-the-job training programmes to make sure those future skills requirements are met,” Mr Gillard says.

The Ministry of Businness, Innovation and Employment forecasts that employment in the construction and utilities industry will grow at 2.6% per year between 2011 and 2016, compared to total employment growth of 1.6%.

No other major industry group is expected to grow this fast.

“A lack of suitably skilled employees available to meet employment requirements can hamper the effectiveness of an organisation in a multitude of ways, and on a wider industry level can restrict economic growth. It is crucial that businesses and industry address short and long-term skill shortages.

“Identifying skills requirements, and investing in the training and upskilling of young New Zealanders entering the workforce will help solve employment issues now and in years to come”, he says.

The Careers Expo presents the widest range of exhibitors of any careers expo in New Zealand, comprising employers, tertiary providers, training institutions, industry representatives, government departments and corporates.

It provides organisations the opportunity to connect directly with tomorrow’s workforce, and presents employment and career information and guidance to prospective employees.

“Large and small employers can make a difference by ensuring they are planning for the future and identifying and communicating jobs skills needed in the next three to 10 years,” Mr Gillard says.