Over the past decade, the New Zealand construction industry has grown to its biggest size in history and although the rate of growth has slowed in recent months, growth is still continuing at almost 2% per annum, according to Statistics New Zealand.

There are now more than 256,000 Kiwis working in construction and as statistics show, the industry will need to add more than 50,000 new qualified construction workers by 2022 if it's to keep up with demand. Pair this with the growth of New Zealand’s housing market and you have a clear winner - apprentices.

Construction businesses across the country are finding it increasingly more difficult to add new, qualified and motivated members to their team as there simply aren’t enough people. Because of this, apprentices more sought after than ever before and that makes it a whole lot easier for them to find high-paying, secure jobs.


Training and Experience are Vital

Although high demand still persists for new construction workers, the slight cooling off of the market has meant businesses are able to be a little pickier when it comes to choosing new team members. What this translates to is that prospective young builders, without NZQA qualifications, are being left out.

In late 2018, if a construction business is looking to add to their team, they will nearly exclusively be in search of motivated, enthusiastic and trained apprentices. This is down to the fact that quality and reputation are going to be the make or break factors for a construction business in the coming years.

Lastly, Westpac economist Paul Clark outlined that in order for the construction industry to continue growing in New Zealand at all there must be a major increase in trained builders entering the workforce. Without these new builders, Clark states that the industry will become far too constrained to continue expanding and would ultimately recede back to a point where it can sustain itself.


Which Sectors Will See Growth?

According to Statistics New Zealand, the majority of the country’s construction growth is going to be within the residential or housing sector. The most recent growth trend data has residential construction hovering at a growth rate of 3.2% per year, whereas the commercial construction sector fell into the negatives.

It’s important to remember, however, that New Zealand’s construction industry is so large that continuing growth at a rate of 5% or more per annum would ultimately be unsustainable due to the fact that there simply aren’t enough construction workers in the country.


Getting in to Construction

If you’re intrigued by New Zealand’s construction industry and want to step into a career in building, then undertaking an apprenticeship in building and construction is a great idea.

Apprenticeship agencies like NZA work to ensure apprentices have everything they need to step into the building and construction industry. If you’re looking to start your career in building then certainly reach out to your local business manager at NZA Apprenticeships.