New Zealand’s building sector has united to target UK construction talent in an unprecedented recruitment push to fill thousands of jobs needed for the largest infrastructure and housing build in its history
The consortia of government organisations, local body entities and private companies are to launch the campaign called ‘LookSee Build NZ’ this week to attract some of the more than 56,000 staff, including 2,200 senior roles, it is estimated New Zealand needs for the more than NZ $125bn (~£66.9bn) programme of infrastructure works over the next decade. The country is simultaneously embarking on the biggest housing build ever attempted, with 100,000 new homes scheduled for construction over the next three years and more promised in the coming decade.
It is the first time New Zealand’s public and private construction sector have joined forces for a single cause and Downer NZ general manager network maintenance and civil construction Craig West says the need for top talent is so severe it required an innovative approach to talent procurement.
West said: “Our construction sector is very competitive and this kind of inter-industry co-operation has never happened before but the need for staff requires us to take an all-of-industry approach.
“We’ve united to solve a big problem for all of us and we’ve come to the UK because that is where some of the best global construction talent is.”
Auckland Transport chief infrastructure officer Greg Edmonds also said that the recent downturn in British construction activity had created an ideal employment environment in which to make a pitch to potential migrants to New Zealand.
“We’ve conducted qualitative research into the UK construction industry and this shows the vast majority of respondents are interested in job opportunities in New Zealand,” explains Edmonds.
“More than 82% were prepared to pay their own travel and more than half were prepared to migrate within three months.”
If construction workers did get a job as a result of LookSee Build NZ their airfares to New Zealand would be repaid, he added.
To persuade prospective employees to take the trip, LookSee Build NZ is also offering a range of quintessential Kiwi ‘experiences’ as a means to entice construction professionals to the country, says construction management consultant Aaron Muir.
LookSee Build NZ are seeking project managers and supervisors, civil and traffic engineers, roading and tunnel engineers, commercial managers and quantity surveyors, design managers and surveyors, structural engineers and draughts people among a wide range of specialist construction roles.
More information about the recruitment campaign can be found at www.lookseebuildnewzealand.co.nz.