Trades shortage critical - union
The union that represents the majority of New Zealand tradespeople says that a new wages survey shows how critical the country’s trades shortage is becoming.
A survey by the Northern Employers and Manufacturers’ Association says that average wages for electronics technicians rose 14 per cent this year, to $45,239 a year.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said the survey highlighted the economic cost that a decade of cost-cutting attitudes in New Zealand business was now having.
“While we support the need for tradespeople to be paid well for their skills, it is not good for the country’s long-term economic stability to have big skill shortages in the labour market,” he said.
“For most of the 1990s, this country trained hardly any new tradespeople. We are paying the price now, and will continue to pay it for the next decade.”
Mr Little said that the Modern
Apprenticeship Scheme, introduced by the Labour Government
in 2000 after much lobbying by the EPMU, was starting to
address the problem, but it would be a long time before the