Young Wellington labourers short of work are heading south to work on rebuilding Christchurch roading and underground piping.
The Government-funded Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) made its first visit to Wellington yesterday.
It was recruiting on behalf of rebuild contractors, including Fletcher Building, Downer, Mainzeal, Hawkins, Arrow International, McConnell Dowell, Fulton Hogan and their subsidiaries.
The SCIRT van, staffed with presenters and video information about working in Canterbury, parked at WelTec's Petone campus to expose students and graduates from there and Whitireia polytech to opportunities.
Almost 50 people, most aged around 20, expressed interest in taking a free six to 10-week course in NZQA Level 2 Civil Infrastructure with a guaranteed job on the Christchurch rebuild at the end.
All their course fees and living costs would be paid but they would need to organise their own accommodation.
SCIRT presenter Tony Doake said there were good opportunities in Christchurch for young people willing to do repair work.
SCIRT aimed to get about 1000 people through the civil infrastructure training.
Yesterday it held a specific drive for Pacific people in Wellington who had gone through a Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship.
Ministry of Education chief Pacific adviser Api Malu said some people in the Pacific community needed a shift in mindset to view labour-intense work as desirable.
"If you talk to any [Pacific] parent they don't want their kid to labour like they did on plantations.
"They didn't come here to be blue collar workers, they came here to get a better life."