900 quake trainees 'guaranteed' horizontal jobs – Brownlee
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a training and employment programme to attract workers for the “horizontal rebuild” of greater Christchurch.
Mr Brownlee’s public relations teams had arranged to announce the programme about a month ago in the same week he accompanied Education Minister Hekia Parata to Christchurch to drop her school restructuring bombshell.
Soft interviews had been arranged with local newspapers and media would have been taken on a tour ending in drinks and nibbles.
But the announcement was delayed in anticipation that the good news would be swamped by Ms Parata’s plans to close 13 schools and merge 18.
Yesterday, Mr Brownlee finally had his chance to reveal that scheme will look to recruit 900 new workers over the next year to assist with the rebuild.
It will be run by the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) in partnership with infrastructure training organisation InfraTrain.
SCIRT and the industry providers will provide training that ranges from six to 14 weeks for new entrants to industry, or on the job retraining for appropriate applicants.
“New entrants who complete the training and meet industry requirements will be guaranteed a job,” Mr Brownlee says.
To date, SCIRT has laid 19km of fresh water piping, 70km of waste water piping and 5km of stormwater piping, yet the team is only 12% of their way through the rebuild and repair of horizontal infrastructure.
Nearly 1020km of road will need rebuilding, which is half of the city’s urban sealed roads, Mr Brownlee says.