An army of more than 13,000 professionals are applicants for construction jobs in New Zealand following the South Pacific nation’s unprecedented global recruitment campaign, LookSee Build NZ.
Among the applicants are some of the world’s best construction talent, including a professional who played a key role in the 1km-high Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which when complete will be the tallest building in the world.
Other top applicants’ experiences include senior roles for Macau’s luxury resort, the Wynn Palace, Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, London Underground’s renewals section and the Shard in London.
LookSee Build NZ launched specific recruitment campaigns in the UK, UAE and are presently promoting recruitment in the US and South Africa but have also received applications from construction professionals around the world, including the Philippines and Singapore.
Master Builders Association chief executive David Kelly says
“it’s promising to see the amount of interest worldwide from professionals willing to answer the call and it’s important to remember the initiative is being driven by industry to meet pressing talent shortages in a sector central to New Zealand’s economic performance”.
New Zealand needs more than 56,000 staff, including 2,200 high-end specialist construction roles, for the more than NZ$125 billion programme of infrastructure works over the next decade.
The impact on New Zealand’s construction industry, says Kelly, will be significant:
“These are people who have worked on some of the biggest and most complex builds in the world and they will be able to pass on new ways of doing things, suggest new technology and devise creative and ingenious solutions to complex problems.”
Kelly says the influx of talent – even if many of them don’t stay for the long term – will upskill local professionals and future proof New Zealand’s construction industry in the years ahead.
LookSee Build NZ spokesman and construction consultant Aaron Muir says the recruitment response means
“we will now have key talent with experience in mega-projects from every country on earth, all interested in New Zealand because of quality of projects on offer and the quality of life”.
The sheer scale of New Zealand’s skill and talent shortage means the recruitment campaign will be ongoing:
“New Zealand is open for business when it comes to top construction professionals – we need you to come to our country and help with the biggest infrastructure and housing build in our history.”
Muir says they have been surprised by the strong level of interest, particularly from South Africa and they launched a specific campaign in the Rainbow Nation because of the demand.
“We’re also still desperately seeking American seismic expertise because of the ongoing impacts of the earthquakes in Christchurch and Kaikoura.”
The more than 12,000 applicants are screened to match their skills with the talent requirements of employers in New Zealand and are then registered in the LookSee Build NZ database, says Muir. The first batch of registered applicants will arrive in January, with more to follow in February as part of Looksee Build week. Each professional on that week will choose a free quintessential Kiwi experience, such as fishing, surfing, canoeing and sites of natural beauty, while those who do get a job will have their airfares repaid.
“We’re making the whole experience as easy and as enjoyable as possible,” says Muir. He says the free Kiwi experiences will not by themselves persuade people to make the move “but what it will do is give them a genuine taste of the lifestyle that is on offer in New Zealand – our quality of living is what puts us above other countries around the world.
More information about the recruitment campaign can be found at: www.lookseebuildnewzealand.co.nz.