Thousands of skilled workers needed in New Zealand to rebuild Christchurch

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Thousands of skilled workers needed in New Zealand to rebuild Christchurch

Two years on from the devastating earthquake that left the city of Christchurch in ruins, thousands of skilled workers are still needed to assist with the rebuild and as a result, the New Zealand government is looking overseas to fill the worker shortage.

Around 40% of the 1,000 overseas skilled workers granted visas to work in Christchurch so far are from the UK, but officials believe that many more workers will be needed to get the rebuilding job done. The local authorities have launched a push to employ local people, but according to recruitment firms there simply aren’t enough skilled workers in the regional work pool.

The New Zealand government is estimating that up to an extra 15,000 workers will be needed including plumbers, carpenters and electricians, so now is a very good time to immigrate to the Oceanic country if you’re skilled in a trade.

Christchurch still has over 100,000 damaged homes, 7,000 that will need to be knocked down and rebuilt. Up to 70% of shops, hotels and office buildings were demolished.

Sam Atkins, a senior consultant from recruitment firm Hays, said that as the rebuild programme takes shape, demand for construction workers and other associated professionals is increasing. ‘The fact is that New Zealand does not have enough home grown workers available to tackle the work required making migration essential,’ he pointed out. ‘International recruitment agencies such as ourselves are working in overdrive to fill these skills gaps either with foreigners or returning New Zealand expats,’ he added.

To assist employers to fill gaps in their work force a special Christchurch hub is online. Be aware that the site as well as the authorities will look to see if they can hire local workers before looking for talent overseas. There is also a Canterbury Skills Shortages List which highlights just some of the skilled workforce required over the next 10 to 20 years including engineers, draftsmen, telecoms experts, surveyors, electricians and glaziers.

You can find the Christchurch hub here: http://www.opportunitycanterbury.org.nz/.

The 2011 February Earthquake destroyed most of Christchurch’s Central business district and flattened 30,000 homes. The bill for the damage came in above £10 billion.

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