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Building apprentices reach record number

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/07/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">The number of New Zealanders opting for a career in the trades is at a high, but a major training organisation says even more apprentices are needed.</span> © Getty The number of New Zealanders opting for a career in the trades is at a high, but a major training organisation says even more apprentices are needed. More New Zealanders are deciding on a career in building and construction than ever, but supply is still not expected to meet demand for skilled tradespeople over the next five years.

For the first time, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation has 10,000 apprentices actively working towards qualifications.

Chief executive Warwick Quinn says the milestone is an important one, but even more apprentices are needed to meet the present and future building boom.

"As per recent government announcements predicting an additional 50,000 construction jobs by 2021, we are expecting big growth in demand for skilled tradespeople," he said.

"However, on top of new jobs, our construction industry has an ageing population. When we add new jobs to replacement jobs, the total is quite astounding."

Mr Quinn said the organisation was signing up 3000 to 4000 new apprentices each year.

"Unfortunately, this doesn't come close to supplying the number of skilled people industry actually needs by 2021," he said.

"Given the fierce demand for apprentices, the time is certainly ripe for a career in construction."

BCITO is the country's largest provider of construction trade apprenticeships and had organised nationwide promotions to try to bolster the supply of apprentices.

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