Recent upsurges in demand for skilled workers across New Zealand in almost all industries is good news for job-seekers.
Several sectors saw increases in the number of job listings in the last quarter of 2016 and experts are predicting that continued business confidence will enable this trend to continue in 2017. According to an analysis by Trade Me Jobs, new listings on the popular job portal were up 16.4 per cent for the period of October to December 2016 as compared to the same time the previous year.
Several sectors saw increases in the number of job listings in the last quarter of 2016.
Housing boom a big driver, especially in Auckland
In Auckland, the housing boom has been attributed to much of the job growth in the city where job listings were up by 17.5 per cent and, according to Radio New Zealand, the government estimates almost 50,000 construction workers will be needed to meet demand by 2021.
An initiative by the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) hopes to address the skills shortfall – the organisation recently announced a new flexible building apprenticeship scheme.
BCITO Head Warwick Quinn said more building apprentices are needed than ever before.
"We've got fewer school leavers over the next 5 or 6 years as a percentage of the population than we've ever had before, an increasing workload and a greater level of competition for those from all over New Zealand – from universities, employers, and other trades – so to be more flexible in our offering that better matches employer needs … will hopefully give us a bigger pool," said Mr Quinn.
Keen to learn a trade – what are my training options?
If you're thinking about the possibility of working in a trade, Career NZ provides plenty of useful information on workplace training and apprenticeships. Whichever industry you're interested in, consider undertaking pre-trade training or an internal workplace training/apprenticeship arrangement.
What does pre-trade training involve?
In some instances, it may be necessary to complete what is termed pre-trade training in order to get your level of experience up to what is necessary to become eligible for workplace training such as an apprenticeship. Some businesses will only take on an apprentice or trainee if they can demonstrate some prior knowledge or practical experience in the relevant occupation.
Completing a pre-trade training course has several advantages. First of all, it allows you to test out a certain job or trade to see if it's something you really want to do. Importantly, it can also provide a potential employer with some assurance that you're committed to the industry and willing to learn. It may even allow you to fast-track subsequent workplace training prior to starting an apprenticeship.
Finding a pre-trade training course that is right for you is a matter of looking at what's on offer at various polytechnics or private training schools. Many training providers hold open days where you can find out all the details you need and get a feel for the quality of content of a course you're interested in. Attending an open day is an ideal way to find out if it is suitable for your requirements.
Course requirements will differ between schools, so it is important to understand what is expected of you before starting a course. The majority of courses will feature a combination of theory and practical lessons, and you will likely need to attend a set number of lessons, complete particular tasks or homework on time and achieve passing marks in any assessments.
Be sure to check on what kind of qualification the course will get you. Ideally you will sign up for pre-trade training that is endorsed by the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) as this will give you the option of being able to cross-credit your studies towards a national certificate at a later date.
In terms of course costs, these can vary depending on which education provider you choose, so shop around a bit before making a decisions. Look around for funding opportunities too. Given that you will be studying, you may also be eligible to apply for student allowances or loans, awards, grants or scholarships.
Workplace training and apprenticeships
Sometimes referred to as industry or trade training, workplace training is great option as you can earn while you learn and improve your opportunities for positive career moves. Apprenticeships are probably the best known type of workplace training.
Workplace training can be a mix of both hands-on job development and educational training, the duration of which can vary from just a few weeks to several years. In addition to working, you may need to attend industry training courses and your performance on the job will often also count towards a formal qualification such as a national certificate.
To get a workplace training placement, it may be necessary to have had some prior industry exposure and be able to convince an employer that any training they give you is going to be worth the investment.
It is recommended that you seek advice from a relevant industry training organisation (ITO) with respect to how best to market yourself. ITOs can be especially useful for advice so it can be beneficial if there is one representing the industry you wish to work in.
While you may be getting paid in training, you may have to incur some costs yourself related to external courses, training materials and industry fees.
How Tradestaff can help you
Tradestaff has connected job seekers with employers for more than 20 years. Since 1996 we've been providing temporary and permanent staff to a range of industries, and we are enthusiastic about continuing this service in the future.
If you'd like to find out more about the workplace training opportunities that are available to you this year, or to talk to us about short or long-term placements, please get in touch with your local Tradestaff branch today.
almost 4 years ago by Will Percy