Civil and Heavy Engineering Construction: A requirement for a robust and reliable training pipeline

Outline the extent of the skilled labour shortage, delve into the structural factors which may be underlying these issues, explore some conceptual solutions for these problems, and will finally conclude with recommendation to improve the situation in New Zealand. 

The issue:

Shortages of skilled labour are a persistent and recurring problem in the New Zealand construction. 

industry, posing constraints in periods of growth for decades. The training pipeline for ‘horizontal’ construction (heavy and civil engineering) has failed to keep pace with the growth in the sector. Over the past 10 years the civil workforce has increased by 23% however unaddressed skill and worker shortages have compounded, resulting in this now being the key challenge for industry. 

Intended outcomes:

A report outlining the root causes of the issues with civil heavy machinery training, conceptual solutions analysis, and recommendations for how this issue can be addressed included the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders to implement change. 

Project status and expected delivery date: October 2023

Researcher Bios:

Dr James Allan Jones

James is a researcher at ConCOVE Tūhura with a background in Economics and Engineering. His research aims to facilitate evidence-based decision-making and inform better societal outcomes. James brings a diverse toolkit including skills in literature synthesis, applied econometrics, spatial modelling, economic simulation, and machine learning. He has applied these skills to an array of topics and tricky problems, including the areas of infrastructure provision and urban development, sustainability, workplace wellbeing, gender dynamics, disruptive industries, communication, and vocational education. 

James holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (with honours) from Durham University (UK), a Bachelor of Commerce (with first class honours) from the University of Auckland and a PhD in Economics from the University of Auckland. James also holds a fellowship at the Economic Policy Centre where he contributes to research on urban development and growth, housing policy, transportation, and sustainability.

Portfolio Manager:

Nina Herriman

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