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Industry plan attracts 1,000 extra road workers

31 August 2005

Industry plan attracts 1,000 extra road workers

There are over 1,000 more people employed in the roading industry today than there were 12 months ago, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey and Transport Minister Pete Hodgson said.

The announcement came ahead of tonight's inaugural Roading Excellence Awards. The awards aim to raise the profile of the industry as a career option for New Zealanders. They also recognise the industry’s contributions and achievements in a climate of skill shortage due to continued economic growth, and increased funding for roading work.

"With New Zealand enjoying the lowest unemployment in the world, the roading industry is not alone in facing skills shortages," Steve Maharey said. "Roading firms worked with the government and developed a practical plan to attract workers to the industry.

"Attracting 1,000 workers to the industry is a major achievement that roading firms should be proud of."

Pete Hodgson said the Roading Excellence Awards were developed by the industry as part of the joint action plan initiated at a Ministerial and industry forum last year.

“The industry-led plan aims to ensure the roading industry is prepared for the increasing need for construction and maintenance work over the next ten years," Pete Hodgson said.

Mr Hodgson said the increased numbers of people now working in the roading sector compared to 12 months ago showed that industry actions, like more targetted recruitment activity and increased staff training and development, were working.

Other actions the industry has taken include: promotion of the industry in schools including sponsorships for the completion of full driver licences development of new pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and cadet programmes a national recruitment campaign the establishment with polytechnics of three new off-site training facilities for practical skills training.

raising the profile of the industry through activities such as the ‘Safety at Roadworks’ media campaign earlier this year entering into an industry partnership with Work and Income to help people move off the unemployment benefit and get training as roading workers.

“The sector has told us that the government’s move to a 10-year programme for roading infrastructure investment provides clarity for forward planning, so that the industry has the confidence to invest further in its workforce”, Pete Hodgson said.

ENDS

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