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Local Advisory Group convenor Pete Hodgson said today there were plans to train as many local apprentices and other workers as possible before the new Dunedin Hospital construction begins in about two years.
Mr Hodgson said opportunities for young people interested in the trades, or those who wanted a career change, were the best Dunedin would see in a lifetime.
"The construction process will be large and long. We anticipate about 800 or 850 people working on the project for four or five years, most of whom will have a trade qualification of some sort.
"Maybe another 200 staff will be involved in ancillary work such as security services, truck driving or offsite construction.
"People could be brought in from Christchurch or the Philippines, or locals could be trained for the roles. We need to acknowledge that we will need to employ some people from out of town; the job is simply too big to avoid that.
"However, we can maximise the advantage to our own workforce, and our own communities, by planning ahead, and that planning has now begun.''
Mr Hodgon said the boom in the construction industry would not stop in 2026 when the hospital was completed.
The University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and the Dunedin City Council would be deliberately scheduling work for the years after the hospital build.
"All this means that Dunedin's construction sector is moving from a lower level of activity historically to a somewhat higher one for the next 12 or 15 years.
"It isn't going to be a boom and bust so much as one long and drawn-out boom.''