As well as the Advisory Group 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 discussions were:
- We have seen exponential growth in apprentice numbers across the construction sector and Commercial Construction 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.
- 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 move into Te Pūkenga, we must retain industry’s voice. BCITO wholeheartedly supports this position.
- The release of the new Concrete qualifications has seen a Level 4 Commercial & Civil Infrastructure qualification roll out that is well supported by industry, and feedback has been incredibly positive.
- There is a lack of understanding from our apprentices about wages and labour only contracts. With several staff changing employers for an extra dollar, sharing knowledge about the differences might avoid negative impacts for apprentices.
- 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 Commercial Construction representative sat in on the Advisory Group meeting sharing terrific insights on the learners’ journey from an apprentice’s point of view. The Apprentice Leader Group will now go through workshops and an Outward-Bound Course to acknowledge and grow their leadership skills.
- There was an acknowledgement about the number of migrant workers working in the Commercial Sector and that Industry needs to do more work to support these workers, particularly in the training space.