I am a glass half full type of person. I always look for the positive but as events over the past week in Christchurch have shown this positivity needs to be checked against a big dose of reality. As New Zealand moves forward information is becoming available and the country is looking to the future. Here is some information from the past few days.
The rebuild of Christchurch
Focus is now on rebuilding Christchurch and the size of the work is becoming apparent. The master builders association has said that the rebuild in Christchurch alone is equivalent to two years construction for the whole of New Zealand. Does New Zealand have enough workers to cope? In short the likely answer us no. The construction industry has been hard hit over the last couple of years and there is a large pool of builders here in New Zealand who need work. However, there are other factors to consider. Queensland in Australia has just been ravaged by floods and has a huge rebuild project. Traditionally 25% of the construction workforce in NZ goes to Australia each year for work. As the industry has been facing tough times the number of apprentices joining the industry has been falling. So in the short-term NZ will need structural engineers, project managers etc but when the rebuild gets into full swing we are going to be facing shortages of skilled construction workers. The master builders association are calling for a strategy to be put in place and skills shortages are really going to be an issue across a number of professions in NZ from 2012 for a number if years
The head of the tourism board in New Zealand has a similar message and it is only 10 days since the quake and whilst there has been a number of cancellations of bookings in Christchurch and people changing their itineraries to other cities. He has said this is an issue that is effecting Christchurch and whilst there have been falling tourism numbers during the recession. The rest of New Zealand is remaining steady. There are also some bright spots on the horizon such as the rugby world cup which takes place in October. Again plans are being put in place and the message is clear New Zealand is open for business
What are we doing?
We have our expos coming up in the UK in a few weeks time and I will shortly be boarding a plane for that long flight. I will be talking about New Zealand at our seminars and giving everyone an honest overview plus explaining how you can make the move here. We will be doing our bit for Christchurch as well and are finalizing those plans at the moment. Again we have the same message New Zealand is open for business and the skills shortage is still here and will be increasing over coming years. If you are looking at Australia you need to home along.
The Australian economy us continuing to race along and the skills shortage is really biting. We have a large number of employers and recruiters flying to the UK with us and many are looking to offer jobs at the expo. There are some major changes to Australian immigration policy that take effect from 1st July 2011 and so we will be updating you on this and explaining how this will affect your move. We have around 50 exhibitors at the March expo and will be very busy so make sure you make the most of your visit by becoming a VIP guest
More about the expo in my next blog
New Zealand is having a national day of morning in the coming weeks but one thing that has been emerging is the great kiwi sense of humour. Have a look at this advert and the comments people have left
The glass is half full