The Government’s announcement to future-proof New Zealand with a $12 billion investment in infrastructure is a positive sign for the country’s future.
With $6.8 billion tagged to developing transport, this will provide some much-needed certainty of forward work for the civil infrastructure sector and has been welcomed by the nation’s infrastructure sector training organisation Connexis.
Connexis Infrastructure Industry Training Chief Executive Toby Beaglehole says, “The investment is both crucial to improving the quality of New Zealand’s infrastructure for future needs and comes at a time when the infrastructure sector is facing a large skills gap.
“With 44,000 workers needed over the next 5 years, the industry investment by government provides future work certainty and allows companies to continue to invest in their workforce.
“The sustainability of our infrastructure sector is reliant on the ability to hold a skilled workforce. That workforce is directly linked to a forward workplan for our infrastructure customers who keep New Zealand connected and moving.”
Toby adds that it’s crucial that the industry is able to keep its skilled women and men in New Zealand by providing a pipeline of work for local companies. “A future workplan allows our customers to continue to invest in their people through industry training. This increases the skill capability within our workforce which helps to increase productivity of New Zealand and support the strength of the economy.”
Infrastructure currently employs close to 60,000 people nationwide, with particularly large workforces in the major centres of Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Wellington and Christchurch.
Connexis has seen a 40% increase in Apprenticeship training from the civil sector within the past 12 months. Along with this they have just celebrated their 500th Certified Civil Tradesperson.
Civil Trades is a certification regime that was launched December 2015 by Civil Contractors New Zealand in partnership with Connexis. The regime recognises not only qualified but competent tradespeople and provides a certainty to asset owners that they have a skilled and competent workforce constructing and maintaining their assets.
“The announcement from Government provides vital reassurance for our customers that there is a significant programme of work to keep these skilled tradespeople in New Zealand,” Toby says.