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Lower Hutt Jobs Forum Tackles Skills Shortage Ahead Of Major Infrastructure Programme

Hutt City Council and the Wellington Institute of Technology Ltd (WelTec) last night hosted the business community to map out a pathway to fill jobs and train people ahead of a multi-billion-dollar investment programme over the next 10 years.

Hutt City Mayor Campbell Barry says that with a secure pipeline of work in the years ahead, it’s a great time for businesses to get involved and for young people to think about a career in infrastructure.

"In order to support the growth that Lower Hutt is experiencing, Council is investing over a billion dollars in infrastructure work right across the city. We need to grow skills and capability locally to make sure we have the workforce to meet those needs."

"With projects like RiverLink and the Naenae Pool rebuild already underway, getting a job in infrastructure is a fantastic opportunity for locals to literally help build our growing and thriving city."

"Hutt City Council has an ambitious plan to upgrade our city’s infrastructure over the coming decade. As we upgrade, we want local people to be part of the workforce that will be required - this is good for business, great for communities, and ensures the local economy sees the biggest benefit of these projects," says Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller.

"When it comes to choosing contractors to work on these projects, our priorities include favouring employers who are committed to local labour and local supply chains and making sure workers receive a fair wage for their mahi. We also prioritise partnering with businesses that care for the environment, who are committed to training their workforce, and who take on more young people, including Māori and Pasifika."

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The jobs forum was kicked off by Hutt City Council after discussions with WelTec and Whitireia Chief Executive Mark OIdershaw about the need for a skilled local workforce. Council then engaged partners Wellington Water, Waka Kotahi, Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Mana Whenua to convene this conversation about the future of work in Lower Hutt.

"We’re really excited to be joining forces with Hutt City Council and other important community players to ensure we can provide appropriately skilled, work-ready graduates at a time when the labour market is very tight," says Mark Oldershaw.

"What students learn with us must be absolutely relevant to the workforce. To do this we need to understand the skills required in our community. This forum is a way to get everyone in the room."

Next steps will be to leverage off the new relationships established at the forum to get more people into the industries that are experiencing skills shortages.

Note to editor: Over the next 10 years there is a steady pipeline of large projects, including RiverLink, Naenae Pool & Fitness Centre, Eastern Bays Shared Path, Cross Valley Connections and Te Ara Tupua. There will also be upgrades to water infrastructure, refurbishment of Petone Wharf, and more homes being built.

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