Quake rebuild expected to create thousands of jobs

6:45 pm on 8 February 2011

The rebuilding of earth-quake hit Canterbury will begin in earnest within the next few months and is expected to create thousands of new jobs.

A 7.1-magnitude quake on 4 September last year caused widespread damage in South Island region, bringing down buildings, breaking sewage pipes and water mains and damaging roads.

The Canterbury Development Corporation has released figures which indicate the rebuild will require more jobs than the region's workforce can fill.

The figures suggest excess jobs will peak at 14,500 next year and drop to 13,000 by 2013.

The corporation's workforce strategy manager Simon Worthington says though most of the jobs will be in construction, those in supporting professions such as accountancy and retailing will benefit.

The demand will also give work opportunities to many of the 5500 Cantabrians who are unemployed.

Mr Worthington says the figures are based on a three-year recovery.

Adecco Recruitment managing director Mike Davis says his team has already had a number of inquiries about quake-related work.

Meanwhile, the promise of thousands of new jobs has many people thinking about re-training.

Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology chief executive Kay Giles says interest in trades courses has increased.

The polytech is working closely with industries to make sure students are able to take advantage of the extra work available, she says.