16 Aug 2018

Construction and business leaders: Not enough skilled workers

2:56 pm on 16 August 2018

Half of the country's Construction and Business leaders believe the sector's current performance is sub-par.

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Photo: 123RF

A study of 33 of the sector's leaders was presented as part of the annual construction industry forum, 'Constructive', in Wellington.

It found 42 percent rated the industry's performance as poor and an additional 10 percent labelled it as terrible.

Performance was average according to 29 percent compared to 19 percent who believed performance was good.

No one surveyed thought it was excellent.

The most critical issue affecting the sector was found to be a lack of skills, followed closely by risk allocation in contracts.

Registered Master Builders Association chief executive, David Kelly, told industry leaders at today's forum, to rethink current competitive pricing.

"The relationship between clients and head contractors has become adversarial and in many cases, punitive.

"The contracting model is focused on initial capital expenditure or what some say is the cheapest price, minimizing and shifting risk and lowest bidder wins the contract," he said.

Mr Kelly said it was clear the sector needed to reflect on these decisions.

Some said the construction industry was too stretched to perform well.

Leighs Construction managing director, Anthony Leighs says part of the reason is not enough public buildings are getting built.

"A lot of that is everyone is operating a bit beyond capacity and when you overlay that there's not enough skills, and the design community is overstretched as well," he said.

Mr Leigh added those factors mixed with much more complex builds taking place now, all lead to poor outcomes.

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