On Wednesday 31 October, the Commercial Construction NAG met for the second time in 2023. The Advisory Group was able to meet in person at The Pullman Hotel in Auckland. Despite how busy the entire industry is, we had a great turnout and robust discussion about a number of topics relating to the Commercial Construction sector. As well as the Advisory Group meeting, BCITO also hosted an Industry Summit with our theme and focus on ‘Awesome People Leadership’ where we had several speakers talk about the future of the sector, productivity, change and building/maintaining a strong team culture. 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 to come out of the Commercial Construction NAG meeting were:

- 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. The Skills Summit focus was on building team culture as its biggest effect is on staff retention.

- While government assistance for employers continues through Boost, the removal of targeted support for learner fees through the removal of TTAF funding has resulted in significant hardship for many learners. Coupled with increasing living costs, we are witnessing learners withdrawing from their training due to financial hardship. BCITO has worked very hard this year with learners to ease the burden of fees and will continue to work with employers to find solutions.

- The NAG expressed their opinion for the best platform/collective group of individuals to take an advocacy pitch to government for continued apprenticeship funding.

- Discussion was had about putting 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.

- The Apprentice Leader Group continues to be a step in the right direction according to the feedback received from our NAGs. Always a bonus for BCITO/Industry to hear the learner voice in sharing terrific insights on the learners’ journey from an apprentice’s point of view. Nominations and interviews are underway to search for the next group of Apprentice Leaders. The process will be completed by the end of January 2024.

- There was an acknowledgement about the number of migrant workers working in the Commercial Sector, the NAG believes more work needs to be done to support these workers particularly in the training space.