11 Jun 2013

Building industry optimism growing

6:12 am on 11 June 2013

A new survey shows optimism within the building industry is growing. However, there are concerns about labour shortages, particularly in Canterbury.

Building site

Photo: RNZ

The report, to be released on Tuesday, also reveals most people in the industry believe the peak of the Christchurch rebuild will be at least a couple of years away.

The Infrastructure and Buildings Construction Sentiment Report, which surveyed 400 people in the industry, is done twice a year by AECOM, a global conglomerate.

AECOM director Dean Kimpton said 73% of the people surveyed in New Zealand expect work activity to increase in the next year, up from 53% six months ago.

But he said 64% nationally and 81% in Canterbury are struggling to find skilled workers to match demand.

Hawkins Construction South Island manager Steve Taw said finding skilled labour is harder than normal and it could get worse.

Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology said trade training courses are becoming shorter and more intensive in order to get more workers into jobs sooner.

Mr Kimpton also said the survey also showed most people in the building industry believe the peak of Christchurch rebuild will be at least two years away.

But Mr Taw is a little more optimistic. He believes the rebuild will peak in early 2015.