The Registered Master Builders Federation says Government incentives are needed to attract more trainees into the trade ahead of a post-earthquake building boom.
The Earthquake Commission has increased its estimate of how much it will pay in claims to $7 billion.
The Government also revealed the estimated number of homes with more than $100,000 worth of damage has climbed to 30,000.
The Master Builders Federation says that represents a lot more building work for Canterbury and he believes a skills shortage is looming.
It wants the Government to provide incentives for those entering trades now - in readiness for when the work in Christchurch begins.
The federation also wants changes to immigration rules to enable skilled workers to be brought in from elsewhere.