Thousands more apprentices needed, says training group
The building industry needs 5000 more apprentices immediately if it is to meet demand, according to the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).
This is despite a 55 per cent increase in new apprenticeship sign-ups last year to 3230, the highest number of new sign-ups in recent times.
Chief executive Ruma Karaitiana said there was still a shortage because of the Auckland and Christchurch markets.
"The building and construction industry is going through a period of rapid growth and demand, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch," he said.
"The challenge, and the reality, of the nature of work in both cities is that everything is high priority."
He said the magnitude of the projects was the reason for the high demand for apprentices.
"Building and construction is a cyclical industry. Everyone recognises that it has boom periods and it also has its quiet patches.
"Now we're seeing builders bring on more staff, which is a strong indicator that things are looking up in the building and construction industry."
Karaitiana said that apprentices entering the industry now could be confident of getting through their training and getting established. He said wages were also good, and there were a host of interesting projects to get involved in.