New Zealand: Construction workforce projections interactive tool now available

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You can now explore the current and future demand for construction workforce in New Zealand thanks to a new interactive tool.

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission Te Waihanga together with the Construction Sector Accord has publicly released construction workforce projections as part of the Recovery Construction Workforce Project to assist regions affected by severe weather events with their recovery planning.

Rebuilding from the impact of the weather events in the North Island will place a significant demand on New Zealand’s construction and infrastructure sector.

Current projections indicate that North Island Weather Event recovery projects, and prospective projects, may create a significant peak in annual demand for on-the-ground construction workers across all affected regions from 2025 until 2027.

Much of the projected on-the-ground construction workforce will be required in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti. The current projections indicate a peak recovery workforce in these regions in 2025 to 2027, this is mostly driven by transport projects. Projections for the Auckland region indicate a smaller peak, split between building work in 2025/2026 and water infrastructure in 2027/2028.

For most projects, the initial demand will be for the workers needed to plan and design solutions. This demand is currently projected to peak in 2024. The projected on-the-ground construction workforce will change depending on the outcome of this planning and design phase.

The recovery work will be prioritised and coordinated alongside other non-recovery projects, some of which may adapt to accommodate higher-priority recovery projects. This coordination will mean numbers of recovery workers presented does not reflect the need for new workers, only the potential workforce that may be needed to support the recovery.

Examples of how the interactive tool can be used

Picture: Example of data that can be produced using the tool

Picture: Example of data that can be produced using the tool
Picture: Example of data that can be produced using the tool

Hawke’s Bay recovery

Cyclone Gabrielle was one of the most significant weather events on record to impact the Hawke’s Bay region. The region’s most substantial infrastructural damage has primarily affected its bridges and road network, resulting in the isolation of communities from major urban centers and persisting traffic challenges. The roads endured the effects of multiple substantial landslides and the accumulation of silt.

In the course of the event, two power substations experienced flooding, and a significant portion of the electrical lines network suffered damage. This disruption led to power and internet outages for thousands of households, and the reconnection process in some rural areas proved to be a time-consuming endeavor.

Furthermore, numerous pump stations situated along drainage systems bore the brunt of the impact, with instruments employed for rainfall and river monitoring sustaining damage or being lost altogether.

Projections show the recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle has the potential to create a peak demand of more than 8,700 additional on-the-ground construction workers across Hawke’s Bay, says the Hawke’s Bay Regional Recovery Agency.

“By giving decision-makers early insights into potential labour demands, these projections can help affected regions plan and coordinate recovery. When used with on-the-ground insights and other information, workforce projections can give communities a tool for prioritising projects to make the most of the available workforce,” says Geoff Cooper, General Manager – Strategy, Te Waihanga.

“The workforce projections will continue to evolve as new information emerges on which projects are prioritised, planned and funded.”

Graham Burke, Transformation Lead, Construction Sector Accord, agrees, “We’re hoping these projections can give the construction industry information to use in their planning to meet future workforce needs. Building a workforce is a big investment, and these tools allow industry to make informed decisions around future demand.”

 “It is important to remember that these are only early numbers, and there is still much work to be done on programme and phasing recovery work programmes – however, the end result will be a hugely useful tool with a strong influence over how recovery work will be spread over time,” says Hawke’s Bay Regional Recovery Agency Chief Executive, Ross McLeod.

Rebuilding New Zealand’s roads after Cyclone Gabrielle will require a skilled workforce

“The Regional Recovery Agency will continue to work with key Government agencies to ensure Te Waihanga’s projections and the data sitting in behind it is fully leveraged, enabling the Hawke’s Bay region to be future-focussed and targeted in its approach to workforce planning.

“We will also continue to work closely with the Government to ensure we have the right workforce development, housing, transport, and immigration settings in place to ensure the region is well set-up to train and accommodate the workers we will be heavily reliant on as we work to build Hawke’s Bay back safer, stronger and smarter.”

Why New Zealand needs your engineering skills more than ever

Are you considering moving to New Zealand?

If you are a Civil Engineer or a Construction Professional considering moving to New Zealand, this new interactive tool can help you understand the current and future demand for your skills and experience. The tool compiles and analyzes data from various sources and allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in NZ’s construction job market. You can also gain a deeper understanding of regional variations in demand and explore which areas have the highest demand for your profession and where opportunities are emerging. Access the Insights Platform here.

New Recovery Visa created to support cyclone and flooding rebuild in New Zealand

Source: New Zealand Infrastructure Commission Te Waihanga

Source: Hawke’s Bay Recovery

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