Carpentry - National Advisory Group (NAG) meeting

On Thursday 17 November, the Carpentry NAG convened for its second 2022 meeting. Due to the relaxing of COVID restrictions, the Advisory Group was able to meet in person at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel. Despite how busy the industry is, we had a great turnout and robust discussion about a range of topics relating to the Carpentry sector.

As well as the NAG meeting, BCITO also hosted an Industry Summit where we had several speakers talk about the future of the sector, productivity, change and building strong team cultures.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all NAG members for giving up their time to contribute to such a productive meeting. Some of the key discussion points were:

  • We have seen exponential growth in apprentice numbers across the construction sector and Carpentry is not exempt to this. Although there was an acknowledgement that numbers have slowed a touch over the last 3 months
  • We are continuing to see a labour shortage in the industry, this is an ongoing issue across the entire construction sector that industry is working hard to address. A focus of the Skills Summit was on building team culture which has a big effect on staff retention.
  • We discussed Gateway and whether employers are getting similar engagement with schools via this pathway as they had in the past. There was a thought that perhaps the Trades Academy network in schools is having more influence in this space.
  • There was disappointment that the Targeted Training Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) was not continuing beyond this year. This ‘free fees’ model for apprentices has been a tremendous success over the course of the last 18 months with sign-up numbers reflecting this.
  • The expressed NAG opinion is that as BCITO moves into Te Pūkenga, we must retain industry’s voice. BCITO wholeheartedly supports this position.
  • Industry can put more effort into understanding the career pathway in construction and making sure our apprentices are aware of the options following their qualification. We are growing the future leaders of the industry and with that comes opportunity for continued growth in the whole construction sector.
  • An Apprentice Leader Group has been set up by BCITO that comprises one apprentice from each sector. This is an opportunity for BCITO to hear the learner voice and is the first of its kind. The Carpentry representative sat in on the Advisory Group meeting sharing terrific insights on the learners’ journey from an apprentice point of view. The Apprentice Leader Group will now go through workshops and an Outward-Bound Course to acknowledge and grow their leadership skills.