14 Jul 2009

Skills shortage in building industry tipped to worsen

7:25 am on 14 July 2009

A Government-appointed agency says a shortage of skilled workers in the building industry is set to worsen significantly when the economy picks up again.

The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation says 10,000 new people need to be in training every year to meet future demand for new homes.

Chief executive Ruma Karaitiana says there are 1,700 fewer apprentices than in 2008 because of layoffs.

Mr Karaitiana says the skills shortage will only get worse when demand for house-building picks up and there is likely to be a shortfall until 2020.

However the Registered Master Builders Federation and the Certified Builders Association both believe there will be enough skilled workers to cope with future demand.

Master Builders chief executive Warwick Quinn says there will be a steady increase in demand, so it will be possible to meet that.