Construction companies in Christchurch are defending themselves against criticism they have been short-sighted in not taking on apprentices.
The Building Construction Industry Training Organisation says New Zealand is woefully short of apprentices and needs another five thousand to meet demand, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch.
Chief executive Ruma Karaitiana said the industry should be thinking about employing apprentices for future demand.
But employers spoken to by Radio New Zealand in Christchurch said delays to the city's rebuild have made it impossible to make forward projections.
Naylor Love Construction director Scott Watson said some companies have held off employing apprentices due to concerns about where the work's coming from.