Last updated 1 March 2021
Last updated 1 March 2021

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is working with industry to grow and attract a diverse workforce with the right skills, to meet current and future construction needs.

New Zealand’s construction workforce must grow and develop so it can meet the demand for new houses, buildings and other infrastructure. Alongside this growing demand, building and construction methods are changing in response to technology, innovation and environmental changes.

A challenge for the sector is the shortage of people and skills, and the lack of capacity to deliver the growing pipeline of construction projects. These shortages run across both the trades and professions, and include plumbers, planners, electricians, engineers, builders and project managers.

"By 2022, it is expected that the sector will need 15 percent more plumbers, 14 percent more electricians and 12 percent more civil engineering professionals." Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Future demand for construction workers, 2017

The New Zealand education sector plays a key role in supporting and shaping a high-quality and sustainable skills and knowledge system. We do this by investing in and supporting tertiary education, training and careers, to meet the needs of New Zealanders and contribute to the economic well-being of New Zealanders.

Growing construction careers and credentials

TEC is leading the Government’s Construction Skills Action Plan's Growing construction careers and credentials initiative. The action plan addresses issues around size and skills of the workforce, to deliver the right people, at the right time, with the right skills to meet New Zealand’s construction needs.

The initiative focuses on promoting construction careers and supports the uptake of micro-credentials by the sector.

Get ahead with a career in construction

The construction sector offers a wide variety of rewarding career choices for people, and we are working with industry to attract more people to train and work in the sector to ensure a diverse workforce. The construction hub page on our careers website enables people to explore working in the sector and change people’s views and stereotypes about career pathways and jobs in construction-related fields.

Investing in growing a skilled and capable construction workforce
Technology is changing the way we work now and in the future. The construction sector needs well-aligned training to support the needs of learners, employers and communities. TEC invests in construction courses, programmes and apprenticeships to help build a diverse pool of talent with the skills to support a modern, productive industry. In 2018, the TEC invested $118 million in construction programmes level 1-7, and $60 million in level 4 apprenticeships delivered by industry training organisations.

We also work with industry to explore and develop relevant micro-credentials - short stand-alone training focused on particular skills set. Micro-credentials are a flexible and sustainable way to up-skill workers to meet specific skill needs.  

We want to invest in well-designed construction micro-credentials, such as kitchen installation, that meet the needs of learners, communities and industries, and support government priorities. We expect to support more construction sector micro-credentials in the future.

Strengthening industry’s voice in training and vocational education

Central to growing a sustainable skilled construction workforce is a vocational education system that is fit for the future of work. Government, the education sector and industry are working together to establish a Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council and a Construction Centre of Vocational Excellence. Through the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE), these will strengthen industry’s voice in training and vocational education.