Employers hunt for Chch rebuild workers

KEEN: Junior Loua will attend the Pasifika Training and Employment event at CPIT tonight.
KEEN: Junior Loua will attend the Pasifika Training and Employment event at CPIT tonight.

Junior Loua left school before he was 16. Tonight he will be among hundreds of Pasifika meeting employers hunting for the estimated 18,000 skilled tradespeople needed for the Christchurch rebuild.

The Pasifika Training and Employment event will be held at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) from 5.30pm today.

Loua, a machine upgrader, is fine tuning his trade through a scholarship to Pasifika Trades Training (PTT) at CPIT.

''It's a second chance,'' he said.

''I never made it to year 10 because of family commitments - supporting my family and things like that.''

Loua has completed six months of fitting and turning and soon starts six months of welding and fabrication.

Meeting employers tonight was important, he said, "so Pasifika will see that employers do want them and they have got a sense of direction".

The trade event is a combined initiative from CPIT and Built Environment Training Alliance (BETA), itself an alliance of eight industry training organisations (ITOs) with an interest in the building and construction industy.

Hawkins Construction is one of the companies keen to attract more skilled workers to the Christchurch rebuild.

"Hawkins is big on forming local partnerships and we are working with Ngāi Tahu to build Māori capability within the trade industry by facilitating employment opportunities and supporting graduates of He Toki ki te Rika, CPIT's Māori trade training programme,'' national manager of health and safety Andrew Confait said.

"Together we can widen the potential labour pool for the local construction industry, which can only be good for the regional rebuild."

BETA chair Philip Aldridge said: "We are passionate about ensuring the Pasifika community has every opportunity to achieve within the sector."

''Central to this is our commitment to facilitating collaboration between ITOs and industry employers.''

CPIT launched PTT this year, to provide industry-endorsed trades training leading to employment.

The BETA/CPIT Pasifika Training and Employment event is between 5.30pm and 7pm at the Student Services Building, Sullivan Ave campus, CPIT.

The Press