Building skill shortages remain despite construction downturn

A new survey shows that some skills in the building industry are still very difficult to source even despite an “unprecedented” contraction.

The 2009 New Zealand Institute of Building/Hays Construction Salary Guide said, “Despite the credit crunch and an unprecedented contraction within the residential building sector, salary levels remain remarkably constant in most disciplines”.

However, the report suggested that those with sought-after skills could still expect to see a pay increase.

“Predictably, estimators and those involved in business development experienced some of the greatest salary increases as companies attempted to strengthen their pipeline of projects,” said Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

Nearly a third (32%) of respondents rated estimators “very difficult” to recruit, while another 30% rated them as “hard” to find.

Finding senior managers is also a headache; 29% rated it very difficult and 33% said it was hard.

“Over the coming six months, those in property development, architecture and commercial and residential construction (in particular site managers and project managers) will need to be more flexible and adaptable in their role and salary expectations,” Mr Walker said.

“But those infrastructure candidates who possess the required experience and skills will benefit from increasing salaries, albeit in smaller increments than seen in previous years.”

The survey also found 70% of respondents had recently contracted staff for labour positions and 57% had contracted management staff.

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Everything that gets built in this county leaks. The builders in this country just arn't up to the job. I doubt whether they could even build mud huts in a third world country.

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Of course there are some sub-standard builders out there, but tell me an industry that doesn't have it's share of under-performers? In the majority of cases you'll find the builders are just following the plans they are given, and it is poorly regulated and sub standard drawings produced by cowboys in the design market, and developers trying to cut corners that are causing the problem.

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you are out of touch with reality. one of the top authorities on leaky homes in Auckland has estimated the problem to be worth more than 10BN NZD. he worked on my property. he found that systematiclly no one cared about their handiwork and were sloppy. it cost $250,000 to fix. My parents house built by the Ministry of works, cost $1500 to build and 50 years later still doesnt leak. the industry is a joke and full of blokes who would rather be fishing. get a dingy and some a line !!

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My experience hiring builders is there is now competition in the market for the first time in years. They will negotiate their rate and you can actually get them onto the job!

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Of course developers try to cut corners... everyone trys to cut corners. We do have regulators to regulate against that, but they have been asleep behind their clip-boards, and allowed shonky buildings to obtain Compliance Certificates.

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Most developers started out as builders swinging a hammer. They should have a better understanding of what constitutes a good design and what doesn't. The entire building sector is dodgey, from investors money being lost to leaking homes. I think there will continue to be a skills shortage because people will realise what a dodgey industry it is and stay well clear.

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Here are three extracts from AB + Anon + go on. They end the debate and should be chiselled in concrete (oh, sorry there isn't anyone up to it here) and sent to Williamson, the first Buidling minister with a brain and a heart.
1) t cost $250,000 to fix. My parents house built by the Ministry of works, cost $1500 to build and 50 years later still doesnt leak. the industry is a joke and full of blokes who would rather be fishing. get a dingy and some a line !!
2)Of course developers try to cut corners... everyone tries to cut corners. We do have regulators to regulate against that, but they have been asleep behind their clip-boards, and allowed shonky buildings to obtain Compliance Certificates.
3) Everything that gets built in this county leaks. The builders in this country just aren’t up to the job. I doubt whether they could even build mud huts in a third world country.

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A large element of the responsibility for 'shoddy leaky buildings' can be sheeted home to the education system, and its teachers. The absence of any effective form of discipline in schools, be it behavior, spelling, grammar useage, sentence construction or respect, has lead to a culture of 'near enough'; i.e -its good enough for me it should be accepted by you.
Consequently without the inculcation of discipline, there is not any concept of 'attention to detail' developed in the minds of young people; sloppiness becomes their 'norm'; and carries through to their adult life. One only has to observe the dress standards of school children and young people out on the street.
Sadly this is a legacy of the Social engineers, and will take generations to correct, long after the leaky buildings have decayed to rubble.

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Time for skill immigrants yet?

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I note when I have to get A trades person to do some work around the house I am charged by the company that employees them $60+ an hour,this equates to $124800 p/a,are these tradesmen really worth that amount of money,what are these firms actually paying their tradesmen per hour,I guess it would be around $25 an hour,if that.Quite honestly the whole building industry from the Hardware/Timber supplier down to the people that build the houses is A great rip off.

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When I supervised construction work around 40- 50 years it was normal practise to a firm to charge the cost of labour out at twice what the tradesman (no persons then) was paid.

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skills shortage is only part of the problem. Every part of the supply chain still demand their margins. Salary has not gone up, but suppliers still insist they want the same margins, of course the building industry is not doing well. The problem with the leaky home are not only the builder's fault but also the suppliers as well. Suppliers come up with super duper marketing promo that claim it can do wonders.

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Further south you go the better quality built (no leaky) homes are found....Seems a North Island problem..

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It seems that anyone who can swing a hammer can become a Master Builder. I personally know of two chaps who were carpet layers, and 6 months later they were in sole charge of buiding new residential homes. My son recently completed his apprenticeship and gained certification as a true tradesman being designated a "Certified Builder". My issue is that builders who are not trade qualified have been resposible for the poor standards in the building industry, and the term "Master Builder" is a misnomer. Get some regulation into the industry.

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I think money saving solutions need to be considered more such as <a rel="follow" href="http://www.ahern.com/scissor-lift-rental.php">scissor lifts rental</a> in order to keep construction projects progressing, whilst saving some money for training or other areas.

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