5000 workers to cope with Otago growth

Mark Cartwright. Photo: ODT files
Mark Cartwright. Photo: ODT files
A multibillion-dollar pipeline of work in Otago is going to require more than 5000 additional trade staff in the next five years, the Workforce Development Council for Construction and Infrastructure says.

In a statement, Waihanga Ara Rau said Otago was projected to gain 32,120 new residents by 2029, which would require the construction of 12,354 new houses.

Thousands of additional skilled workers across various occupations would be needed to meet the demand for these homes and for the many non-residential construction projects lined up in the region.

Council chief executive Philip Aldridge said Otago had the infrastructure to grow its workforce and he urged the region’s young people to consider a career in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

"Our trades training in New Zealand is world class. The list of skilled occupations we need provides good-paying jobs with job security.

"There’s a positive future for young people who decide to invest in tertiary training in the construction industry."

Otago Polytechnic deputy executive director of academic delivery Mark Cartwright said it had the capacity to help meet the region’s construction training requirements to support projected demand.

"We have a broad suite of programmes, underpinned by industry-focused experience and expertise.

"These range from ‘entry-level’ level courses such as the level-3 New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills, carpentry, to degree-level offerings such as the bachelor of construction, quantity surveying.

"We also offer trades-based training in electrical and plumbing and are gearing up to support other specialist trades in getting the skilled workers they need."

The new multimillion-dollar trades training centre offered opportunities for work-based and on-campus learners.