The civil construction industry is eagerly awaiting record spending on three waters, public transport and road safety improvements to bring financial certainty and stability so it can work towards overcoming New Zealand’s “infrastructure deficit”.
Results from the 2019 Construction Industry Survey reveal uncertainty in the pipeline of new projects is severely impacting the civil construction workforce to complete projects the Government has promised “record spending” on.
The survey was a joint research project commissioned by Teletrac Navman and Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ).
The civil construction workforce is anticipated to need tens of thousands of new workers in the coming years.
“A clearer, more reliable flow of work and projects brings certainty to businesses and people in the industry, enabling them to undertake the important work needed in updating and improving New Zealand’s infrastructure,” CCNZ chief executive Peter Silcock says.
“If contractors are unable to see when proposed projects will come to market, this prevents them from investing in their businesses.
“The survey shows contractors are already looking to diversify in the project types they can deliver in anticipation of significant public projects entering the market.
“A clearer work programme will enable them to better plan their diversification, and make the best investment in people, skills, equipment and technology.
“The report suggests the industry understands the need to invest in the workforce, but many businesses are being impacted by lowest price procurement, and just don’t have the margins built into their contracts to do so.
“It is very clear that we need the support of the industry’s largest clients — local and central government — if we are going to invest in our people. That sort of support is vital, and will be warmly welcomed by the industry,” Mr Silcock says.
Contractors welcomed the government’s increased emphasis on training and development of people and other social outcomes through the Construction Accord and new procurement rules.
The results indicate that a large proportion of training is delivered on-the-job in the civil construction industry. However, only 61% felt they had the current resources to train people.