A working group has been set up in Dunedin to look at how to avoid a labour shortage in building the city's new hospital.
The convener of a group overseeing the development, Pete Hodgson, said work on Christchurch's hospital has been delayed by worker shortages and he did not want that to happen in Dunedin.
This week about a dozen groups, including building firms and training organisations, met to look at how to ensure more local people were ready to do their bit for the $1.4 billion project.
Mr Hodgson said they had to be one step ahead of the game.
"We need to drill down and work out with a great deal more detail what trades we need when, so when will we need the plumbers, when will we need the steel tyres."
Mr Hodgson said he hoped to get more people, such as school leavers to consider apprenticeships, and several initiatives will be announced in the coming months.