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Industry Gears up for Auckland projects

Industry Gears up for Auckland projects

The New Zealand roading construction sector is ready to gear-up for the major Auckland transport construction effort to be announced tomorrow, according to the organisations’ representing general and roading contractors.

“We want to see all New Zealanders benefit from local companies’ winning all the tenders for major projects in this programme -–using New Zealand workers and training school leavers and the unemployed to join their ranks,” said Richard Michael, CEO of the New Zealand Contractors’ Federation.

“The decisions that are to be announced tomorrow represent a significant opportunity for New Zealand companies, workers and also potential employees to take advantage of major investment in new infrastructure. Investment, jobs and upskilling will all follow a regime of certain funding and a sensible construction programme,” he said.

“We will welcome the certainty provided by a funding announcement, a structure to deliver the projects and procurement processes that can handle this demanding programme,” said Chris Olsen, Chief Executive of the PBCA (Pavement and Bitumen Contractors Association). Industry is ready willing and able to invest and ramp up capacity – but what we need is certainty so we can move forward,” he said.

Right now the industry believes it is in a position to double its construction capacity in Auckland to $400m p.a. once clear signals are given which enable business to plan such investment with confidence. We are working on a programme to increase this capacity further to $500 million”.

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“Industry leaders have identified human capital and training as the areas requiring the most additional effort – and we will be working closely with Government to continue and expand the current programmes which upskill New Zealanders to take jobs in this sector.”

“In association with InfraTrain, the industry ITO, we have 1,200 employees in training, have invested in programmes to attract school leavers to training in the sector and is investigating a partnership programme with WINZ targeting unemployed people for further upskilling.

“It has been suggested that overseas resources will be needed to meet the demand, but this is not correct and would be a major lost opportunity for the New Zealand economy” said Chris Olsen. “The only major area of resource pressure will be human capital and overseas companies would draw on the same labour pool – pushing prices up and taking the profits offshore,” he said.

“Industry is looking forward to working with Government (central and local), through whatever structures are formalised, to plan optimal programming for projects to allow New Zealand to reap the major economic benefits from his infrastructure investment.”

“This will require a focus on timetabling and on procurement processes which recognise and reward training and expertise – to make it worthwhile for industry to make the major investments in training and human capital.” “Projects need to be scheduled in a way which enables the industry to gear up and invest sensibly, but we would like to see the procurement process sped up to facilitate certainty for the businesses who will be making the major investment in resources, raw materials procurement and people,” he said.

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