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Road Contractors Reject Claims of Skill Shortages

Roading New Zealand

Media Release

11 August 2005

Roading Contractors Reject Suggestions of Skill Shortages

Suggestions made on Television One News last night that roading contractors' will not be able to cope with the extra money being pumped into the city's roading network are inaccurate and misleading said Chris Olsen Chief Executive of the Roading Industry Association, Roading New Zealand.

"The workforce has grown by fifty percent over the last five years and in the last year the industry has taken on around 1,000 new employees. These numbers will continue to grow as long as there is certainty in future work loads.

While it's true to say that some Roading New Zealand members are operating near capacity there are certainly others who are not and do have spare capacity. There is however a mood amongst all of them to provide resource needed by our clients.

This growth in Industry numbers has not just happened by chance. It has been a result of a deliberate strategy by Roading New Zealand and its members over past years. This strategy's primary focus has been to get the business environment right before taking on new staff. Progress on this has been made in partnership with the Government and its agencies such as the Department of Labour, the Immigration Service, OSH and WINZ. The three key thrusts of the strategy have been to obtain funding certainty, to have no gaps in Land Transport New Zealand and Transit NZ work programmes and to develop more flexible procurement procedures. These initiatives will create the confidence needed for contractors to continue to invest in people and plant.

ENDS


Notes:

Roading New Zealand represents the majority of New Zealand's roading construction companies. Member companies currently carry out up to 90% of Transit's work and 70% of Territorial Authority roading work, and have a combined turnover of approximately $1.4 billion per annum.

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