Record number of tradesmen leaving NZ
Sat, 29 Sep 2012 6:00p.m.
By Brook Sabin
3 News has obtained figures showing thousands of tradesmen are leaving the country just as the Christchurch rebuild picks up pace.
The Government admits we will need the workers, but short of taking their passports off them at the airport, it can't stem the exodus.
Matt Corston has worked as an electrician in Christchurch for 26 years. This past month has been the quietest on record.
“When you go from invoicing about 40,000 a month to about 5000, it makes it hard to live,” says Mr Corston.
Yet isn't there meant to be a $30 billion reconstruction project underway in Christchurch?
“There's no work to do,” says Mr Corston. “They talk about brining in work from overseas, but I can't see what they're going to do.”
Figures obtained by 3 News reveal thousands of people in the construction sector have left in the past two years. That includes 2500 bricklayers and carpenters, almost 2000 labourers and 1000 electricians.
In total, almost 9000 tradesmen have left, while 6000 have arrived from overseas, leaving a shortfall of 3000 workers.
“The Government for some time has been promoting the Christchurch rebuild as a key part of its economic platform,” says Green Party co-leader Russel Norman. “Work doesn't happen without workers, yet the Government sat there and let all those workers go overseas.”
And some sectors of the rebuild need workers now. James Keenan has been on the hunt for a bricklayer for six weeks.
“We're so busy,” says Mr Keenan. “We need more people in Christchurch. There are so many people waiting. We've got work up until Christmas at the moment.”
We asked the Government if they're concerned about the exodus of tradesmen.
“Short of stopping them at the airport and taking their passports off them, obviously when the jobs become available people have the opportunity to take them up,” says Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.
“If this Government had a plan for Christchurch and a plan for jobs that worked, they wouldn't need to be at the airport,” says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.
The Government maintains it is training thousands of workers for the rebuild. But it doesn't appear to have a plan to keep those already qualified from building their future in Australia.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
23/11/2012 6:24:56 a.m.
I am trade certified in Fibrous and Plasterboard stopping, 25plus years experience, Over the last few months i have made many phone calls to other plasterers in Christchurch, One guy told me (Sept) that he had only one small job to quote, had laid off 2 top guys, he had, had 2 or 3 other local plasterers ring him looking for work his payments are slow as can be and Fletchers closed down a Hospital rebuild, they simply came in, gave everyone one a week to get off site, probably problems with money flow by insurance, he was pissed right off I can tell ya.I have heard lots of stories of tradesman not being paid ? Why are there such stories, it should all be good news. Not good for NZ reputation at, I feel sorry for tradesman that have gone down there to try and help out, from a sense of compassion, (not everyone is simply about the potential ‘money’) then get burned, it’s pathetic, typical clown NZ, Aussie would be doing it right, they wouldn’t be getting mucked around by insurance companies, NZ Government are weak. Also the whole payment system in the building industry is ridiculous anyway, who likes to work and supply materials for 30 days then wait another 20-30 days to get paid, you tell a Dairy owner to do that or a gas station or anyone else on wages, I try to work on a "preferred tradesman" payment system as builders call it, I invoice them on the 20th of the month and receive my payment on the 30th of that same month, Insurance and well healed building companies can easily do this if they want to and if they want good trades people, which they inevitably come to the conclusion they do, they will get sick of inexperienced, what we all call “Cowboys” and “Newbies” it will just cost them money in delays come backs administration cost their reputation, but they will probably have to go through that cycle first. Unfortunately that’s human nature and NZ’s nature especially idiots. It certainly would be in their best interest from the start “Now” to look after those who are good, experienced and Trade qualified and who look after them, in my opinion.
9/10/2012 4:25:43 p.m.
I lived in Christchurch for 9 months and I had a good time I had a good Job until it went south!.
My feeling is I was left out of pocket and I applied for hundreds of jobs, I was willing to do almost anything but once again I kept on getting turned down. I am a skilled trade person in Hospitalty 15 years.
So you see being unemployed and no money is shit,especailly if you have insurance on car to pay ,car payments,credit debt,rent,food cost it puts you in a situation that causes Depression,Hardship a feeling of being nothing.
If it wasn't for the fact that I went back to Queenstown and was given a job,I think I would of been stuffed most of my thoughts were what is life...
Support for people in my situation what a joke I had no help what so ever!!!
The only way I saw through it was that 1 Good Friend grabbed me in the end and held me together stopping me sinking.
This Government needs to listen and talk to people who have been hit hard or in a simular place to what I have been in.
Sack Key and stuff National!!!!!
1/10/2012 12:05:06 p.m.
Don't get me started. OK you've got me started. There are numerous faults throughout the trade sector that the current and previous other governments have failed to address or let go under the radar that is costing our country billions of dollars, skilled people exiting overseas and a depreciated reputation as a skilled workforce.The following are facts1: Qualifications are only just starting to come back in as being manatory to be able to carry-out certain work. It should be manatory to be qualified to be able to carry on within any trade unless you're an apprentice. Lift standards which lifts workmanship levels - no more leaky buildings, etc.2: Education Institutes have been a failure for so many years chasing the government subsidised funding or overseas student full training cost. I carried out an audit of 1x institute for Automotive Engineering and was blown away with what students were being passed on that WAS WRONG. It's a numbers game, pass students and they will come with their dollar, fail and they won't come. Pass students for political reasons to look good and keep qualified "trades people wages" low, fail students you have a failed political party. I know it doesn't just happen within the automotive industry but in all trades and it's possibly now more rife becuase of attempting to get apprentices qualified for Christchurch.3: You lower regulation requirements within trades, you keep wages low. Why would you want to get into a trade if you cannot earn a reasonable standard of living.4: Even if you have a number of apprentices become qualified you cannot beat a experienced qualified trades person. These experienced trades people have been under valued for to long and so good on them for trying to get ahead. People dont question accountants, lawyers, marketing, I.T people $200+dollars p/hr charge or goverment rep's earning $3k+ upwards p/wk why have governments continued for so long to suppress and weaken trades/tradies.You reap what u sow.
30/09/2012 10:58:04 p.m.
apprentice ship for shit wrote:
Long tack you wrote that tradesmen do a 3 yr apprenticeship,How is it that the prisons are training labor for the rebuild here in Christchurch over a few months training.No wonder good honest trades people are leaving NZ for overseas,as why in hell people like myself who spent thousands of hours to get a trade certificate when we have this unskilled practice put in place by the National government just to cut costs.Most of them in parliament would not know what a fully skilled person is. let alone what building codes are.Maybe they are using the old grandfather clause,any body can do what ever as long as they know where the sharp end of a nail is,or how to use a left handed hammer.
30/09/2012 6:31:10 p.m.
tin man wrote:
2 years down the track there is still not the promised job surge in Christchurch. There are still homeless and a near empty CBD. The influx of ex pat CHCH folk has not developed jobs or business in the rest of NZ. The tourism we were promised hasn't happened. Don't start me on the cycle tracks. WINZ does not want to know job seekers.they just get in the way
30/09/2012 6:28:06 p.m.
It's about who is rubbing shoulders with who, I am a builder in Christchurch for many years and have no work as they keep saying there are far to many workers for jobs available. Bankruptcy looks close and my staff will join the unemployment lines.
30/09/2012 4:22:55 p.m.
I live in ChCh, sick of waiting for EQC to make me a less than $10K offer, so I'm doing the repairs myself. Just discovered a 1.2m stud in a 2.5m high wall!! The work of "tradesmen" 15 years ago. 40 years ago NZ carpenters had a 5 year apprenticeship. In Japan and Germany it is 7 years. I think it's 3 years in NZ now, and the consequence is that the new breed of tradesmen lack analytical skills and craftsmanship. As long as it's not structural, plumbing or electrical, DIY is the way to go.
30/09/2012 3:57:10 p.m.
Mrs D Greenslade wrote:
As always we (the public) are not told the whole story!
Would it surprise TV3 to learn that a big company (Fletchers) down in Christchurch has been driving down the pay rate for genuine tradesmen that has made them to decide to leave NZ because it is not viable for them?
so now Fletchers is sourcing overseas workers not even in the trade to work to rebuild Christchurch?? Listen to the house owners who have been taken for a ride!!!
DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE REPORTING LOOK FOR THE TRUTH NOT SENSATIONAL NEWS AS YOU NORMALLY DO!!
30/09/2012 1:47:03 p.m.
foreign students are working for cash under the table for cheap undercutiing the professionals. insurance should not be given for such buildings
30/09/2012 11:02:29 a.m.
Im unemployed. Have been for almost a year. I hate it. Ive applied for literally hundreds of jobs. I live in Auckland, and wanted to go down to Christichurch to scope out the job opportunities for 2 weeks. I was told by WINZ if I leave the Auckland area for any length of time my benefit will be cut in half and possibly cancelled because this is where my benefit is applied and based on. Im completely broke as is and cant risk going to CHCH to "try" only to fail and then have my benefit dropped. So they're right on 2 counts: welfare is a trap and they are lots of people who would move to chch for work but cant. This government spends millions on consultants why doesn't just one of them take off the shirt and tie and run them selves through the WINZ systems as some kind of "mystery shopper". These policies are absurd.
32 months after the first earthquake, dozens of Christchurch...
Two waterspouts have been spotted over Auckland this afterno...
Video has emerged of a skydiving incident in Motueka last ye...
Once again Campbell Live has a very powerful caravan of opin...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.