A record number of Kiwis are deciding a career in the trades is the best way to build their future, with more New Zealanders in trade apprenticeships than ever before.
For the first time in the organisation’s history, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) now has 10,000 apprentices actively working towards qualifications in the construction industry.
BCITO chief executive Warwick Quinn says this is an extremely important milestone.
“This is the first time we have ever had this many apprentices in training at one time. But we need even more if we want to meet the current and future building boom,” he says.
“As per recent Government announcements predicting an additional 50,000 construction jobs by 2021, we are expecting big growth in demand for skilled tradespeople,’ Mr Quinn says.
“However, on top of new jobs, our construction industry has an aging population. When we add new jobs to replacement jobs, the total is quite astounding.
“Yes, we have 10,000 apprentices, and the BCITO is signing up around 3000 to 4000 new apprentices each year. Unfortunately this doesn’t come close to supplying the number of skilled people the industry actually needs by 2021.
“Given the fierce demand for apprentices, the time is certainly ripe for a career in construction,” Mr Quinn says.
Scott Fisher is the 10,000th apprentice to sign up with the BCITO. Scott works at A J Saville Builders in Queenstown, and believes becoming a carpentry apprentice has been a great way to formalise his skills and to cement his job prospects in the future.
“As an apprentice, I get the chance to put my skills to work. There are many opportunities to develop a great career. New Zealand has a very reputable construction industry and it’s fantastic to be a part of it,” he says.
The BCITO has organised a range of nationwide promotions in recent months to attempt to bolster the supply of apprentices. These have included the Not Your Average Shed campaign, their annual Big Construction Tour, and the Build-Ability challenge which is now underway at secondary schools across New Zealand.
The BCITO is the largest provider of construction trade apprenticeships in New Zealand. It is appointed by the Government to develop and implement industry qualifications for the construction sector.
The organisation provides a range of apprenticeships across 15 trades within the construction industry. Visit www.bcito.org.nz to find out more.