With a partner and three kids under five, Nick MacDonald was really feeling the pressure of being out of work.
Nick had been working as a general hammer hand for years, but when the last project finished his previous employer had to let him go because there simply wasn’t any more work.
Fortunately, his case manager at Work and Income referred him on to the CBD Jobs and Skills Hub, and within a week he had a job in Wynyard Quarter.
Panuku Development, which is leading the Wynyard Quarter urban regeneration, estimates that 2500 more construction workers will be needed over the next three years. This is one of many projects transforming Auckland’s city centre.
For 32-year-old Nick, from Henderson, that need has resulted in a career path through the offer of a Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) apprenticeship with Wallace Construction after only three months with them.
“It’s been a really excellent experience and it’s great to have something permanent. They’re a very good bunch to work with and I’ve always wanted to do my apprenticeship,” he says.
What is the CBD Jobs and Skills Hub?
The CBD Jobs and Skills Hub is a partnership between Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Panuku Development Auckland, industry training organisations, and central and local government.
It addresses the drastic labour shortages in the central city in the construction and hospitality industries, where unprecedented and sustained growth is forecast.
CBD Jobs and Skills Hub Operations Manager, Melissa Hall, says the collaborative approach the Hub takes means it can find a job for people like Nick, and work with BCITO to secure an apprenticeship.
“Across Auckland there are 32,000 jobs that need to be filled in the construction sector alone, as well as considerable demand in hospitality and tourism. Our job is simple – to connect keen jobseekers like Nick to city centre employers and, once they’re employed, deliver the training that employers need,” she says.
A one-stop shop for construction companies
Sione Naaniumotu, Site Manager for Wallace Construction, says the Hub offers a one-stop shop that makes it easy for the company to get the people they need quickly in the city centre.
“There are plenty of opportunities down here if you’re prepared to work hard and have got the right attitude, and we want to be providing apprenticeships to help people get the skills so we can do the work,” he says.