15 Nov 2011

Labour wants rebuild jobs to go to New Zealanders

6:52 pm on 15 November 2011

Labour Party leader Phil Goff says it is outrageous the Government is trying to recruit skilled people from the UK to rebuild Christchurch when thousands of young people could be trained to do the work.

The party released the last part of its jobs policy in Auckland on Tuesday, saying it has a six-point plan to raise skills and create jobs.

Labour leader Phil Goff said there are skills shortage in a number of sectors, including building and construction which requires 77,000 new workers over the next five years.

"I think it's an outrage that we're across in Manchester recruiting skilled people when there's 10,000 young people not in employment, education or training in Christchurch who'd love the chance to rebuild their city, but the opportunities haven't been opened up for skill training."

Mr Goff said that in the year since the earthquake there should have been training for New Zealanders.

Labour's plan includes making job numbers a consideration when issuing Government contracts.

It also has the goal of having three out of four adult New Zealanders holding trade, training or tertiary qualifications at level three or above by 2020.

Mr Goff said over the past three months an extra 3000 people had joined the unemployment queue.

National Party leader John Key said the party had not ignored the skills shortage for the Christchurch rebuild nor the plight of young people.

He says National had put some $42 million into additional training places in Christchurch, at CPIT and in other programmes.

Mr Key said there were skills shortages in one or two areas and a few visas had been granted for specialists, but for the most part, if a New Zealand worker is available they are given the job.