The Wellington Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) and over 50 representatives from across the infrastructure and construction sector met at WelTec | Te Pūkenga in Petone to discuss workforce development needs for the region and creating a regional partnership to progress priorities.
“With approximately 3,000 job openings expected in this sector from 2025 to 2028 there is an urgent need to assess current workforce supply,” said Glenn Barclay, co-chair of the Wellington RSLG. “To ensure we are ready for the future and can meet that demand, we need the region working together to find solutions. This meeting is the first step to creating a workforce group to take forward the key issues raised by the sector, agree priorities and how best to address them.”
Participants at the meeting included major employers, industry organisations, training providers, iwi, Waihanga Ara Rau (the Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council), local government, WellingtonNZ (the economic development agency for the region), Government representatives including from the Ministry for Social Development, Kainga Ora, MBIE, the Construction Sector Accord, and community groups such as Le Fale from Porirua.
Mark Oldershaw Tumu Whenua ā-Rohe 3 | Executive Director, Region 3 at Te Pūkenga gave an update on the reform for vocational education, acknowledged current challenges in the vocational education and training sector in regard to construction, and raised ways to work better with industry and help with workforce needs.
Speaking at the event Mr Oldershaw said: “We are aware we need to encourage more women to train for the sector, that we need better links with schools, and that we need to continue to partner with employers, iwi, and our Pacific community, and we are excited to work toward these better outcomes in partnership with all those represented in the construction industry. Getting together today is a step in the right direction, and we will support the Wellington RSLG in forming a workforce group to implement a regional response to workforce challenges.”
The Wellington RSLG acknowledged support for the event from Hutt Chamber of Commerce, Hutt City Council, Construction Sector Accord, Waihanga Ara Rau, Te Pūkenga, Le Fale (the community jobs hub in Porirua) and other partners. The RSLG’s role is to plan for the region’s workforce and to coordinate regionally for solutions. The RSLG set up this meeting as part of work to implement the Regional Workforce Plan, which includes bringing a sector workforce group for the construction & Infrastructure sector.