The Council of Trade Unions is welcoming today’s announcement of the very significant $12 billion infrastructure investment in the future of New Zealand.
CTU President Richard Wagstaff comments, "This prioritisation is long overdue. It represents longer term thinking and an investment in our future transport, education and health. Long term thinking of this kind has been absent for too long from central government".
"Now that the announcement has been made, it’s critical we use this spending as a real opportunity to create good jobs, that are well paid, secure and safe and which have training at the core. We support the Prime Minister’s comments about now being a good time for young people to learn a trade."
"The scale of this investment has rightfully been labelled once in a generation. And it represents a significant challenge to establish and maintain a labour force that can deliver results from this spending. So it’s crucial that working people are equipped to fill these jobs with the training and support they need. "
"It is essential that health and safety is central to these new jobs and construction projects. Keeping everyone safe at work has to be an absolute priority regardless of the industry they work in. Employers must aspire for zero harm to those they employ or contract. Anything less is simply irresponsible. An essential part of that is encouraging and supporting effective representation and participation of employees in their own health and safety," Wagstaff said.