There is a shortage of skilled and qualified tradespeople in Auckland, and in New Zealand generally. This includes people qualified to operate machinery for earthworks, such as diggers, bulldozers, bobcats
– as well as scaffolders, plumbers, drainlayers, forklift drivers, experienced builders and several other skilled trades.
Experts in the construction industry say that this causes quality concerns, as well as a lot of hold-ups. This shortage seems to have reached a peak in 2015, but despite the government’s apparent efforts to encourage apprenticeships, there is still no fully-fledged apprenticeship scheme to have made much of dent in the last couple of years.
Often, this means construction projects must import workers from Australian and other countries to do some of the specialised work. There aren’t enough skilled New Zealanders to keep up with demand, and huge growth in the construction sector is not matched by the number of skilled tradespeople. Jobs in construction are growing at twice the national job rate.
According to an article on Stuff in March 2017, around 30,000 more workers would be needed in construction by 2019, and many of these will need to be skilled machine operators. There’s a need for a more diverse workforce in the construction sector, as the use of technology increases.
According to Statistics NZ, the hardest jobs to fill due to labour shortages are those for skilled tradespeople, management or supervisory roles, and professional or technical roles.