Apprenticeships are up and the skills pipeline is working
Good news for apprentices and trade, The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) announced recently that there are more apprentices training than ever before – 16,000 apprentices are actively training and taking part in industry. This is a major win for the economy as well as trades in general because New Zealand has been in need of more tradies than we had access to for years. With this huge step forward in fulfilling the numbers of tradespeople that are needed, New Zealand can look forward to an even brighter future.
BCITO is devoted to developing the skills pipeline even further so that the supply can meet the demands of the building and construction industries.
Chief Executive of BCITO commented recently that thanks to the efforts put in that “looking forward to supporting building and construction through a bumper year.”
How to manage the skills shortage in NZ
The skills shortage has been an ongoing challenge in New Zealand for years. It was significantly worsened during the Global Financial Crisis when NZ lost many of the county’s skilled workers and thanks to the massive impact of the GFC New Zealand is still recovering those numbers. Despite the economic impact of the newest global crisis – the Covid-19 pandemic – the building sector is poised to boom. Though the borders are closed and outside skills are harder to source, the building consent numbers are high and the government has committed to a large-scale infrastructure project plan and as such demand for skilled labour is at an all-time high. This demonstrates how a career in trades can offer long term stability and even opportunity to shine in the face of adversity.
We need this surge of people entering the trades to continue, the high apprenticeship numbers are a fantastic start but they are only that – a start. The demand is much higher than before and so even record high numbers need to be a stepping stone and not an end goal. The government’s Apprenticeship Boost and Free Trades Training have worked well to support people entering the trades and we need to continue this trend to end the skills shortage.
Good for tradies, good for companies
The government’s 2020 Budget had given significant investment in trade apprenticeships. With $412 million invested in the Apprenticeship Boost Scheme, employers are more able to take on apprentices, to train new skilled workers, and to overall hire more people.
With schemes like this in place, it is a win-win scenario – employers get help to hire more people and people find it easier to get into roles they want. The end result of this win-win is that country also wins, with a growing building and construction sector more able to meet demands.
On the job training, earning while you learn, and an ongoing pathway to a secure trade job is boon for the workers of New Zealand. With the industry growth, high volume of jobs, and more people wanting to train and enter into those job – there has never been a better time to be involved for both apprentices and employers.
Focus on smooth transition
In order to ensure a smooth transition, BCITO intends to reform vocational education and help all apprentices, employers, and support staff to grow the industry and support the people doing it. BCITO is working alongside Te Pūkenga and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) so that the impact of the governments decisions and projects will affect employers and apprentices positively. This is an opportunity to contribute to a major reform in vocational education.
Amplify employers and apprentices
By working closely with industry, we can promote systemic changes that benefit everyone and eventuate in a world class vocational education program that New Zealanders deserve. We are poised to attract even more people to enter the trades, to have an expertly trained workforce, and to truly flourish with a booming construction and building industry.