Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Investment in trade training critical to Canterbury rebuild

Investment in trade training critical to Canterbury rebuild


Labour Leader Phil Goff is calling on the Government to take immediate action to get people into training for trades like building, plumbing, plastering and drain-laying so we have the skilled workforce needed to rebuild Canterbury.

"This is a critical issue. It cannot be ignored. The Government must act now to build an army of workers with the right mix of skills to rebuild the devastated Canterbury region, including the tens of thousands of homes, schools and businesses that have been destroyed or damaged.

"If action is not taken, we will face a skills shortage in 12-18 months' time that will cripple the rebuild effort, cause significant delays and push up the cost of construction.

"The industry also must be given the confidence and certainty it needs to take on trainees and workers," said Phil Goff.

"This is a time for active government. The Government must provide the industry with clear projections about the scale of construction work that will be needed and the skills required.

"The Government must also ensure that Canterbury businesses get the first bite of any construction work that is going, as long as their bids are competitive. At present, the industry is retrenching and local companies are continuing to face liquidity problems because of the recession and delays in reconstruction after the September 4 earthquake.

"It's important that rebuilding starts as quickly as possible to keep them and the local economy afloat," said Phil Goff.

"Funds must also flow quickly from insurers and the Earthquake Commission to businesses that are undertaking the work. We don't want businesses that are already under financial pressure to fail simply because they're not being paid on time.

"Industry leaders tell me that the pool of skilled labour has been shrinking throughout the country. The industry has been downsizing with layoffs increasing over the last couple of months," said Phil Goff. "Even before the latest quake, it was estimated there would be a shortfall of a thousand building tradespeople by 2013. That demand will be even stronger now.

"Boosting the number of skilled workers is necessary not only for Canterbury but also to meet the growing housing shortage crisis in Auckland, the expected increased demand to repair leaky buildings and the loss of many qualified tradespeople lured to Australia by higher pay packets."

The Labour leader says the Government should lift the cap on building trades students at institutions like the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. It should also promote accelerated, intensive courses in building and construction trade training, including apprenticeships.

"CPIT has the capacity to take on more students and increase trade training. We want to target school leavers, those who are unemployed and those who may be made redundant in the coming months - to give them an opportunity to forge a new career that will benefit them and the economy.

"Immediate action is needed to meet the rapid growth in the Canterbury region when the rebuild gets underway. If this does not happen, there will be an avoidable crisis and delays in meeting housing needs along with higher costs which is the last thing people in Christchurch need as they recover from the earthquake."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news