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Building Industry Needs Skilled Workers

6 August 2004

Building Industry Needs Skilled Workers

New Zealand First housing spokesperson Brent Catchpole says it’s time to ensure the survival of the building industry by training New Zealanders to work in it.

Mr Catchpole raised the issue in Parliament this week, pointing out that the average age of the workforce in the building and construction industry is between 45 and 50 years.

“That means there are no younger people coming through to fill and take the place of those who leave,” Mr Catchpole said.

“The building industry in New Zealand is desperately short of skilled workers, not only to build, but also to train and pass on their knowledge.

“The Government’s new building apprenticeship scheme is simply a rebranding of the old system,” Mr Catchpole said.

He urged the Government to give more consideration to improve the building industry and to ensure it was vibrant and able to meet building needs for the future.

“It is also important that the Government does not react to the reported shortage of workers by importing cheap foreign labour. This would not be in anyone’s interests except the big overseas owned companies,” concluded Mr Catchpole.


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