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NZ Construction Industry forecasts sustainable growth

NZ Construction Industry forecasts sustainable growth

Over half of New Zealand's building industry workers can expect a salary increase of up to 5% in the year ahead, according to the 2017 Hays Construction & NZIOB (New Zealand Institute of Building) Salary Guide.

Released today, the Guide also shows that the construction sector has experienced strong growth over the past 12 months with 73% of organisations surveyed reporting increased business activity for the period.

The outlook for the year ahead is also positive with 61% reporting that they expect to increase permanent staff numbers and more than 35% intend to increase the use of contracting and temporary staff to support the growth in project workload.

This year’s Guide, which surveys salary and recruiting expectations, shows that Project Managers, Construction Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Estimators, Site Managers, Project Engineers and Forepersons are in particular demand. Changes in health and safety legislation have also seen a significant rise in demand for OHS Managers.

Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand, said: “Despite the increase in demand for such skills, salary movements have been relatively sedate with employers showing little appetite to increase remuneration over the next 12 months.”

When asked by what percentage you intend increasing salaries over the next 12 months: 30% said by up to 3%, 26% said by 3%-5%, 12% by between 5% and 10%, and 3% by more than 10%. Only 7% did not intend increasing salaries and 22% did not know.

“The challenge for employers in the current environment is to ensure the current workforce is retained, non-salary benefits are attractive and work conditions and projects are engaging enough to ensure that their staff stay.

“The good news though is that the industry is growing and the market is predicted to be sustainable into the foreseeable future, shaking off the ‘boom and bust’ stigma associated with the industry in the past. That being the case, it’s a good time to invest in the development of new apprentices, promote and encourage others to train in those difficult to find professions, and to consider a more diverse workforce,” Jason Walker said.

NZIOB Chief Executive Malcolm Fleming said: “The results of this year’s survey suggest that recruiting those with specialised skills remains a challenge and the sector’s capacity to continually raise the income bar to attract talent is on the wane.

“With construction reportedly being the industry with the highest average advertised income, that softening in salary growth should come as no surprise. The overriding constraint is that there is only so much that can be paid for a new house, a new building, or for an infrastructure project.”

Other findings from the 2017 Hays Construction & NZIOB Salary Guide include:
· For 73% of organisations the typical working week is between 40 and 49 hours;
· 81% of the building industry workforce is male;
· 36% of organisations will increase their use of contract and temporary staff in the year ahead;
· 75% employed contract and temporary staff in management positions last year, with 67% also
employing them in labour positions; and
· 49% of staff stay with an employer for between 3 and 5 years, with another 39% remaining 6 years or more.

The 2017 Hays Construction & NZIOB Salary Guide covers trends for 17 typical roles in 12 different locations across New Zealand, as well as typical salaries by project size, construction type, and annual turnover. The Salary Guide is available at http://nziob.org.nz/assets/Uploads/Final-2017-Hays-Construction-NZIOB-Salary-Guide-2.pdf

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