New Zealand construction industry set for upswing in 2010

The Department of Labour report Construction Sector Outlook, released this month charts the growth of the industry and how it has responded to the natural downturn over the last two years.

Department of Labour Head of Labour Market Information Monique Dawson said the analysis showed that a recovery in residential construction activity can be expected to commence before the end of the year and employment would stabilise.

It is a result that is confirmed by the Statistics New Zealand report yesterday which revealed that the number of those permanently emigrating to New Zealand exceeded departures by 17,043 in the year ended September 30.

New Zealand Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard last month said a recovery in New Zealand immigration is bolstering spending and housing demand, which will underpin the country's economic growth next year.

“Key to ensuring the industry’s long term development will be the availability of skilled staff, with the retention of apprentices, in particular, being vital”, Ms Dawson says.

“It is essential that the construction industry takes a strategic approach to workforce development issues, ensuring as many apprentices are kept in work as possible to ensure it can take full advantage of the opportunities created by an economic upturn”.

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