NZ scours the world to fix construction industry shortage

About 500 professional construction vacancies need filling prompting the LookSeeBuild campaign.

Overseas construction professionals are being offered subsidised travel and a chance to taste New Zealand’s outdoor life in a global recruitment drive.

The LookSeeBuild campaign is looking to fill about 500 roles and is backed by 21 of the country’s leading construction or engineering firms.

Selected applicants will be invited to Auckland next February for a week of interviews and activities around the country.

The campaign, which closes on Friday seems to be working, catching the eye of more than 12,000 people who have made enquiries, and prompting 1500 registrations.

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“We’ve had quite a strong response from the UK, the US and Canada in amongst various other countries [such as] Greece and Chile,” one of the key organisers, construction consultant Aaron Muir said.

Applicants who get a job through the campaign will be offered up to $2000 off their travel costs and about the same again to have their visa process managed for them.

Muir said New Zealand had a chronic shortage not only of construction workers but of professionals to lead those projects.

According to government figures, New Zealand will need an extra 56,000 construction-related workers between now and 2022. That includes just over 2200 quantity surveyors, site and design managers, project managers, engineers and other related professionals.

Their skills were in high demand worldwide so Muir said the campaign emphasised the family and lifestyle advantages New Zealand had to offer, and the career opportunities stemming from the country’s huge pipeline of building and infrastructure work.

He said the aim of LookSeeBuild was not just to find people to fill the immediate skills gap, but to create a “pipeline of professionals” that New Zealand could tap into over time.

“It’s not just about planning for individuals who are making a life decision around the world but it’s also the companies here in New Zealand that want to plan ahead to get the right people at the right time for the right projects.”

Those invited to the LookSeeBuild week will be also offered a variety of activities, such as mountain biking or watching international cricket in Wellington, tramping in Queen Charlotte Sound, surfing in Raglan or wine tasting at Waiheke.

“The essence of this campaign is one of an opportunity to come and live a new lifestyle in a country which has some exciting opportunities and a lifestyle that’s different to many other countries,” Muir said.



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