16 Jun 2013

Employers say training not yet helping skill shortage

7:53 am on 16 June 2013

Despite a record boost in the number of building apprentices, employers in the trade industry say there's a shortage of skilled workers.

The number of building apprenticeships rose 22% in the first quarter of this year, with 270 more apprentices taken on compared with the previous year.

Craig McCord, who has a plumbing business in Tauranga, says he advertised for trained plumbers about three weeks ago and got one application.

He says the apprenticeship scheme is good, but there remains a demand for people who are already trained.

Mr McCord says the reason for the shortage of skilled workers is that training stopped three or four years ago during the global financial crisis.

The chief executive of the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation says demand for workers in the industry is projected to keep growing for several years.

Ruma Karaitiana says his organisation is now waiting on the Government to approve extra funding for more new apprentices.

In January, the Government announced it would invest up to $40 million in incentives for trade apprentices and their employers.