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Infrastructure employment scheme launched

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

1 November 2012 Media Statement

Infrastructure employment scheme launched

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a new training and employment programme to attract workers into trade industries needed for the horizontal rebuild of greater Christchurch.

The programme is part of the Government’s wider infrastructure programme, which is set out in the Building Infrastructure progress report released today.

Run by the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) in partnership with infrastructure training organisation InfraTrain, the scheme will look to recruit 900 new workers over the next year to assist with the rebuild.

“This programme will help meet the high demand for workers and the need to present them to employers with a degree of pre-trade training.

“Through the programme SCIRT and the industry providers will provide training that ranges from six to 14 weeks for new entrants to industry, or on the job re-training for appropriate applicants.

“New entrants who complete the training and meet industry requirements will be guaranteed a job,” Mr Brownlee says.

SCIRT has employed a number of work-place tutors who will continue the delivery of training and evaluation of the new industry entrants through to the completion of their qualifications.

“This is an innovative approach to training and recruitment in the infrastructure industry, and one that will uniquely respond to the challenges posed by the earthquakes,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The size of the infrastructure repair job should not be underestimated.

“To date SCIRT has laid 19 km of fresh water piping, 70 km of waste water piping and 5 km of storm water piping, yet the team is only 12 per cent of their way through the rebuild and repair of horizontal infrastructure.

“Roughly 1020 km of road will need rebuilding, which is half of the city’s urban sealed roads.

“This is a huge job and we will all benefit by up-skilling workers to carry out the work over the next five years.”

Pre-employment training programmes will be delivered by a number of partners, including the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, the Canterbury Tertiary College, Tai Poutini Polytechnic and the Salvation Army.

They include full year courses for young students who complete the Canterbury Tertiary College programme instead of the standard Year 13 school year; 12 week pre-trade training at CPIT and Tai Poutini; and life-skills plus pre-trade training by the Salvation Army.

All of these providers are developing their programmes under the umbrella of InfraTrain, which has contributed to content development, standard development and the alignment of the on-going work-place training programmes to wider NZQA qualifications.

Mr Brownlee says the recruitment campaign will have a strong visual presence throughout Canterbury and further afield, with the SCIRT ‘For Real’ bus visiting A&P Shows, malls, major community events and specific events created for the purpose of making prospective employees aware of the opportunity.

“The bus is kitted out with a bank of monitors which can deliver a multi-media introduction to the SCIRT programme and the opportunities presented by the horizontal rebuild of Christchurch.

“An HR hub has been established by SCIRT employers, contractors and training providers to deal with expressions of interest from applicants and match them to training and employment.”


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