Wellington.Scoop » Jobs & Skills Hub to overcome construction staff shortages in Hutt Valley – Wellington Scoop

News from Ministry of Social Development
The Ministry of Social Development is gearing up to help provide a pipeline of labour for major infrastructure projects across the Hutt Valley – estimated to be valued at $2.7 billion – over the next 10 years.

The projects are planned to take place from 2022 to 2031 and will create thousands of job opportunities.
“It’s critical that our partners get the workers they need to get these projects humming,” said Amy Henare, Director of Employment Programmes at MSD.
“We’re setting up a Jobs and Skills Hub in the first half of next year that will provide the Hutt Valley community with training and work opportunities in construction and infrastructure. The hub will be in Lower Hutt.”
“MSD’s role to is keep New Zealanders in jobs, and we’re working closely with the construction and infrastructure sector to get people trained up to fill skills gaps. With near-record low unemployment, finding staff can be tough and through this Lower Hutt hub we can help address a predicted construction and infrastructure workforce shortage.”
In Auckland three successful Jobs and Skills Hubs have provided the labour for massive building projects in Manukau, the North Shore and the City Centre in recent years.
The Lower Hutt hub will be the first outside Auckland and will support the Riverlink, Wellington water and Hutt Valley transport projects.
The hub is supported by Waka Kotahi, Hutt City Council and Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce. MSD is also working closely with Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa to ensure community needs are met.
All partners recognise the need for a skilled workforce who have the necessary development and training to secure employment opportunities attached to these projects.
RiverLink project partners have agreed to use the hub as the key source of recruitment for their programme of work.
“Our RiverLink programme objectives go further than just delivering great infrastructure for Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai. Through the hub, we hope to be able to provide real opportunities for kiwis in the region to gain new skills that will set them up for a long and successful career in the trades and construction industry,” RiverLink Programme Director Rod James said.
“We are really excited about the opportunity to connect businesses involved in major construction and infrastructure projects, like RiverLink, to their future employees through the establishment of the Jobs and Skills Hub in the Hutt Valley. This a really fantastic opportunity for all people, but particularly our rangatahi, to discover, explore, connect to, experience, and be trained for a future in these major projects,” said Patrick McKibbin, CEO of the Hutt valley Chamber of Commerce.
“Taranaki Whānui are a cornerstone member of the Mana Whenua Steering Group that has been advocating for the establishment of the Job and Skills Hub alongside its partners. We are seeking the optimum benefits and opportunities for local iwi, Māori, Pasefika and the wider community to uplift the social, economic and financial wellbeing of communities. The Job and Skills Hub offers our rangatahi (youth) pathways to a selection of meaningful careers leading to transformational change in our Te Awa Kairangi communities,” said Lee Hunter, Chief Executive of Taranaki Whānui.
For job seekers, the hub will be a one stop shop for jobs in construction and infrastructure. The hub will also support people already employed in the industry to upskill with apprenticeship and training opportunities.
Employers will get help to find skilled workers for projects, extend the hiring pool of potential candidates and help managers upskill current staff.
Hub staff will be out and about in the community promoting construction careers and training opportunities to local schools, iwi, churches and non-government agencies to ensure a pipeline of skilled local people to enter sustainable jobs.
If your organisation is interested in collaborating or co-locating with the Lower Hutt Jobs and Skills Hub, please contact MSD: [email protected]
-The value of these projects was estimated by the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce.
News from Waka Kotahi / NZTA
The Government has announced today that a new Jobs and Skills Hub will be opened in central Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai (Lower Hutt). It will help connect local communities with the thousands of new jobs predicted to be created from local projects like RiverLink over the next decade.
Scheduled to open in the first half of 2023, the Jobs and Skills Hub will partner with local employers to help them find skilled workers and support people to enter apprenticeships, training and employment opportunities in construction and infrastructure close to where they live.
An estimated $2.7 billion in local and central government projects across the Hutt Valley is coming online over the next decade. This investment is expected to lead to the creation of around 4,500-6,750 jobs. With a construction and infrastructure workforce shortage of nearly 30,000 in the wider Wellington Region, the Jobs and Skills Hub is essential to ensuring those projects can be delivered.
The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) will run the Hub in collaboration with local organisations, industry, and government agencies. RiverLink project partners Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa, Waka Kotahi, Hutt City Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council have all agreed to use the Hub as a key recruitment source for their works programmes.
“We are very excited for this development and the significant benefits it will bring as we progress vital infrastructure projects across our city”, says Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry.
“It provides a service to connect our people with the many opportunities in the pipeline, to grow their skills, and help our local businesses find skilled, talented people to work on these projects. Overall, it will strengthen the local economy, building up the capability and experience of people and businesses working on transformational projects such as RiverLink.”
Daran Ponter, Chair of the Greater Wellington Regionao Council, says the hub is a necessary step that shows the advantage of working together at scale on a partnership project like RiverLink
“RiverLink is a hugely significant project that will not only help transform living, working and travelling along the river but will also help bring much-needed resilience to Hutt City.
The flood protection element alone will help save lives, defend thousands of homes and 600 businesses, and keep significant Crown assets intact so having locals working on the project and telling others of its importance to the community is vital,” says Chair Ponter.
“RiverLink will require thousands of skilled workers over the next five years. It’s not just about delivering transformational change for the community through physical works. We want to be able to transform the lives of Kiwis, particularly our rangatahi, with new skills and training opportunities that will set them up for long and successful careers in the infrastructure and construction industries,” says Emma Speight, Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships.
The RiverLink programme is building real momentum towards delivery, with final resource consents granted by the Environment Court on 3 November 2022.
Procurement documents were released on 13 October. This marks the start of a formal process to select a preferred team of designers and constructors to deliver RiverLink. The proposal stage is scheduled to close on 15 December, with a preferred delivery partner announced in March 2023.
Early works are scheduled to start early to mid-2023, with main construction beginning in late 2023. The RiverLink programme is expected to be completed in 2027.

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