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Failure to train young people contributes to housing stall

3 July 2017

Nats’ failure to train young people contributes to housing stall

Budget documents forecast that housing construction will stall in the coming year, despite the massive housing shortage, and National’s failure to train young people in building trades is partly to blame, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

The Budget forecasts growth in the residential construction sector to slow from nearly seven per cent to just 0.3 per cent in 2017/18. Treasuryattributes this, in part, to ‘capacity constraints in the construction sector (particularly for skilled labour)’. Government data shows a significant reduction in the number of carpentry and plumbing apprentices under National, despite the Christchurch rebuild and national housing shortage.

“After nine years, National has managed to stall housing construction in the middle of the largest housing shortage we’ve ever seen. We needed to be training more young people in building skills; National trained fewer. Labour’s fresh approach will incentivise builders to take on more apprentices so we can grow the building workforce.

“Already, the problems can be seen. Building consents are static. The residential construction sector shrunk 1.6 per cent in the latest GDP statistics. With record population growth and housing already in short supply, a stall in housing construction is the last thing this country needs.

“National allowed the number of building apprentices to fall following the Canterbury earthquakes, despite the growing need for skilled builders. The number of carpenter apprentices qualifying was down 30 per cent in 2016 compared to 2011.

“The number of apprentices in training is now increasing, but many more are needed and years of too few apprentices being trained have led to the shortage of experienced workers now.

“Now, we’re seeing the results of National’s failure to invest in training: a building sector that is hitting its limits when we still need many more houses.

“Labour is committed to expanding the building workforce and training more young people as part of our comprehensive housing plan. Labour will help firms with the cost of employing an apprentice through our Dole for Apprenticeships scheme and apprentices will have access to our fees free tertiary policy. KiwiBuild contractors will be required to train apprentices as part of their participation in the programme. The KiwiBuild Visa will allow builders to bring in a skilled worker as long as they also train a local apprentice,” says Andrew Little.

Contact: Mike Jaspers 027 677 8875

201120122013201420152016
Total Building Apprentices gaining qualifications2,7752,4251,9252,1402,3502,520
Building Surveying (Inspection)0020858575
Building nec, mixed or nfd101020353045
Bricklaying and Stonemasonry205560606060
Carpentry and Joinery2,0601,7401,1701,1901,3351,405
Ceiling, Wall and Floor Fixing90165215170225220
Roof Fixing120105507580110
Plastering15105505
Glazing354025203030
Painting, Decorating, Sign Writing and Other Finishes3015130135200280
Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying405280240365310290

Source: Education Counts (figures rounded)

Number of new dwellings consented
MonthTrend(2)
2013May1,733
Jun1,737
Jul1,746
Aug1,770
Sep1,810
Oct1,861
Nov1,918
Dec1,969
2014Jan2,008
Feb2,036
Mar2,061
Apr2,080
May2,083
Jun2,075
Jul2,058
Aug2,047
Sep2,048
Oct2,062
Nov2,083
Dec2,110
2015Jan2,130
Feb2,140
Mar2,148
Apr2,161
May2,187
Jun2,217
Jul2,248
Aug2,280
Sep2,315
Oct2,347
Nov2,367
Dec2,372
2016Jan2,374
Feb2,393
Mar2,427
Apr2,480
May2,548
Jun2,615
Jul2,657
Aug2,650
Sep2,598
Oct2,530
Nov2,476
Dec2,454
2017Jan2,465
Feb2,491
Mar2,524
Apr2,552


ends

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