The Government says now is the time to get into trades work as a boom period for construction begins.
A report released on Wednesday on the state of the building industry reveals it is worth $30 billion to the economy each year and employs about 170,000 people.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the challenge will be the boom in construction in Auckland, earthquake-hit Canterbury and other areas.
He said people returning to building work, those coming back from overseas or others finishing training are likely to fill the jobs to meet demand.
Mr Joyce announced on Wednesday that the Wellington Institute of Technology and Whitireia Polytechnic plan to set up a School of Construction.
The tertiary educators will spend $13.6 million on the new school which will be based at two hubs in Petone and Porirua.
WelTec chief executive Linda Sissons said there is work out there now and in the coming years.
"We have shuffled a lot of people, a lot of graduates down to Christchurch. But more than that, we've got the big roading projects here in Wellington, we've got all of Auckland's, so I think it's the beginning of a curve."