Concrete Sector National Advisory Group (NAG) meeting highlights

On Friday the 18 November 2022, the Concrete NAG convened 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 Concrete sector.

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 discussion points were:

  • We have seen exponential growth in apprentice numbers across the construction sector and Concrete 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 released a completely new suite of qualifications during 2022. The group acknowledged the positive step forward with all qualifications proving to be more fit for purpose than the old qualifications.
  • 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 a 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.
  • 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 Concrete 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.
  • 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. The area of Concrete Technology was discussed and that there is a need to resurrect this qualification.