Published on April 14th, 2014 | by john.weir0
Royal visit to Christchurch raises rebuild profile
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have today (April 14) visited Christchurch as part of their royal visit to New Zealand, taking a walk through the city’s Latimer Square and discussing the rebuild process with government officials, following the devastating earthquake of 2011. Immigration New Zealand hopes that the royal visit will help to raise the profile of opportunities that exist around the rebuild, with the UK being a core recruitment market for construction related jobs in the city.
Originally built by English settlers in 1848, Christchurch has long regarded itself as the most English of New Zealand’s cities. The immediate aftermath of the quakes that hit the city in 2011 however saw more than 80 per cent of the central business district destroyed, calling for one of the biggest and most complex civil engineering projects in New Zealand’s history, worth over NZD $2 billion. The scale of the work required has meant that filling the employment demand needs a multi-layered approach, which includes recruiting from overseas.
The UK is currently the biggest source market for skilled workers in the construction industry, with around 2,400 workers granted visas to assist with the Christchurch rebuild project since 2011. The New Zealand construction sector is currently experiencing unprecedented growth in commercial and residential construction. In 2016 the estimated total value of construction activity is expected to be nearly NZ$32 billion (23 per cent higher than the previous peak in 2007), meaning that there are a number of long-term opportunities available for skilled British workers.
The current list of skill shortages in Christchurch include occupations such as carpenters, drain layers, forepersons, engineers, surveyors and project managers, with those interested in applying encouraged to visit http://www.newzealandnow.govt.
Hayley Parkin, recruitment advisor for Christchurch City Council comments: “We are making real progress in Christchurch and the rebuild is now finally starting to take shape, as we move away from the planning stage and into the delivery. There are opportunities for people in a number of different trades, so we encourage anyone interested in making the move to take a look at our skill shortage list and see if there are any roles that are right for you.
“The UK is a very important market for us and we are keen to speak to people who are looking for a new challenge and a new life down under.”
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