6 Sep 2011

Canterbury job demand picked up to ramp up next year

7:00 am on 6 September 2011

The chair of the Canterbury Employment and Skills Board, Carl Davidson, says he expects job demand in quake-hit Christchurch to ramp up early next year.

The board was set up to help co-ordinate the rebuilding of Christchurch, and meet the looming skills shortage facing the city.

Mr Davidson says no one knows exactly how many jobs will be created, as it will depend on when reconstruction gets under way.

"A lot of the vacancies are forecast rather than actual," he says, "so what that means is the real demand will probably be in the first quarter of next year.

"There was a perception that there'd just be this explosion of demand - and that we'd turn a key and all the work would start. That clearly isn't happening. The work is being scheduled and planned, and those schedules and plans have very significant labour requirements - they just don't have them immediately."

The plus side, Mr Davidson says, is that this enables the board to "get the skills ducks in a row" so they can ensure they have the right people when demand ramps up.

He says the board is focusing on the long term too, to ensure there's no skill shortages when reconstruction eventually winds up.