BCITO launches Strategic Workforce Development Framework


The BCITO’s Strategic Workforce Development Framework (SWDF) was officially launched by Minister for Building and Housing Dr Nick Smith at the BCITO Skills Summit held in Wellington in October.

In attendance at the summit were more than 100 BCITO National Advisory Group members, Board members and other key stakeholders from associated federations, associations and government bodies.

The SWDF has been developed to help construction industry businesses and employers manage the development of their workforce so industry is aware of, and can be better prepared, to meet predicted skills shortages.

Industry participants need to address the factors that each employer can most influence and realistically change.

The SWDF also sets out what the BCITO’s strategic goals are in relation to developing the professional workforce needed for the future.

It identifies four priorities for action that can be used to help participants plan and  strategically manage the development of their construction workforce.

These priorities are:

Build an accurate picture of the current skills and capabilities of each industry sector’s workforce,

Identify future requirements for each workforce and the outcomes they wish to achieve,

Develop strategies to address any gaps between the workforce and desired outcomes, and

Consider and understand the overall impact of business strategies on workforce development.


Construction activity

National demand for new houses in 2017 is forecast to be 28,000. The current workforce capability is building 15,000 homes.

In 2014 there were 155,200 people employed in the construction industry sectors covered by the BCITO. By 2019 this is forecast to climb on average by almost 5% per year to 197,300.


The construction industry workforce

The average age of people in the construction industry is 42, which is increasing much faster than the rest of the population.

Increasing cultural diversity in New Zealand means strategic employers cast a wide net in respect to recruitment.

Just under 3% of the BCITO’s active apprentices are women.

A project-driven “hire-and-fire” business cycle causes some skilled workers to leave the industry permanently.

40% of workers in the industry do not attain a post-secondary qualification of any kind.


Key take-outs

Growth is set to continue but negative pressures in some regions exist.

Government will use policy settings to free up market conditions and stimulate some activity.

Capability and capacity of the current workforce will struggle to meet future demand.

Growing demand in Auckland may require increasing numbers of the workforce to move from locations throughout New Zealand.

Consideration of sustainability, as a workforce development driver, will deepen.

The industry’s skilled workforce is ageing quickly and exiting the industry.

The industry is recruiting from a shrinking pool of people.

Greater workforce diversity is required to meet labour requirements.

The current rate of industry training does not match demand.

Skills demand will continue to develop.

Industry training needs to align with workforce development.

Industry needs to actively work to attract people into the industry and to keep them for a longer period of time, and ensure people understand that construction offers a career, not just a job.

To read the BCITO’s SWDF visit www.bcito.org.nz/news-and-publications/strategy-documents.

This initial document is just the first step in an ongoing process to help skill-proof the industry. In the next phase in the first half of 2016, the BCITO will engage with a sector-specific plan for particular trades.