New Zealand Labour Party

Plumber shortfall highlights gaps in trades training

A shortage of skilled plumbers highlights major gaps in the Government’s trades training which is having serious implications for our construction industry, Labour’s Skills and Training spokesperson Jenny Salesa says.

“Information obtained under the Official Information Act shows an undersupply of plumbers is predicted to hit 58 per cent over the next few years. That means Auckland alone will be 601 plumbers short.

“Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce was warned in 2013 there would be a shortage of plumbers and has failed to ensure enough have been trained. His do-nothing attitude is typical of an increasingly arrogant and out of touch Government.

“At the same time construction companies are desperate for labourers. Auckland company Macrennie Commercial Construction’s chief executive Steve Fowler today warned ‘there's a general shortage across the board and that's all skill sets’.

“The construction sector is critical to New Zealand’s growth. Yet National has no plan to deal with these skills shortages.

“Our labour productivity is among the lowest in the OECD and unemployment rising. This is a tragedy at a time when Auckland’s housing industry is booming and the Christchurch rebuilt underway.

“New Zealand is being hamstrung by the Government’s lack of commitment to comprehensively addressing the issue of skills and training,” Jenny Salesa says.