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 Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news