Construction work in demand at Auckland jobfest

Construction work in demand at Auckland jobfest

Construction companies are targeting Auckland's unemployed youth as they grapple with a dire shortage of workers.

They're hoping to attract 4000 jobseekers aged 15 to 24 into the sector.

Looking for a job can be hard work, but for those interested in the construction industry, the future has never looked brighter.

Building projects are at an all-time high, but the sector is desperate for people power.

"We certainly do need to get more young people into construction to fill those vacancies because there aren't enough skilled people to do the work," says Fletcher Building's James Brown.

Auckland's unemployed youth have been identified as an untapped resource - a pool of fit and healthy potential employees.

"I think for a lot of young people they see it as just about labour, being about labour," says ATEED CEO Brett O'Riley. "But we know the building and construction industry is about technology. There are all sorts of different aspects."

Youth unemployment has halved over the past five years. But more than 23,000 young people still aren't working, training or studying.

Jobfest - New Zealand's largest employment event - aims to change that.

"There's 800 jobs on offer for about 3000 young people we expect to turn up here," says Mr O'Riley.

Jobs are not just in construction, but IT, hospitality and tourism.