Construction body plots its five-year course

7 November 2023

2 minutes to read

The Workforce Development Council for Construction and Infrastructure, Waihanga Ara Rau, has outlined what it aims to achieve for the sector over the next five years.

Waihanga Ara Rau, the Workforce Development Council for Construction and Infrastructure, has published its Statement of Strategic Direction (SSD) outlining what it intends to achieve for the sector through to 2028.

The SSD was developed with the help of people in the sector, including industry employers and associations, educational institutions, iwi, hapū, and Māori organisations. Waihanga Ara Rau says its SSD illustrates its commitment to honouring te Tiriti o Waitangi and ‘sets strategic goals to foster trust, inclusion, and success in the industry’.

The mahi outlined in this publication includes:

  • Completing a Workforce Development Strategy with the Electricity Supply Industry. This identified several Strategic Goals and action recommendations about attracting new people to the workforce and the importance of clear career planning for the current workforce.

  • Completing Waters Services projects. These show that 6,000-9,000 extra people are needed in this industry over the next 30 years.

  • Publishing its first Workforce Development Plan. This plan is the starting point for the development of approx. 11 Strategic Sector Workforce Development Plans across the Construction and Infrastructure sectors. It looks at past workforce trends, captures a snapshot of the current workforce and paints a picture of the future. As a living document, it will be updated as we develop Workforce Development Plans for Strategic Industry Groups and ultimately individual industry workforce development plans.

  • Creating the online Workforce Information Platform which displays national and regional gaps and surpluses within the construction and infrastructure labour market determined by the dollar value of planned and active projects in the pipeline. It shows the occupations and numbers of people we need to put that work in place.

  • Launching TradeCarers online toolkit. This toolkit helps employers hire and retain women and demystifies the construction and infrastructure sector for women.

  • Launching fifteen regional reports as part of the Regional Construction Workforce Planning and Development Project.

  • Building strong relationships, partnerships, and positively influencing the sector.

  • Transforming the workforce: A commitment to evidence-informed advice, high-quality training, innovative education products, and fostering inclusive future-focused pathways for all industry members.

  • Achieving success for Māori: Demonstrating a commitment to iwi, hapū, and Māori organisations, ensuring their voices and aspirations guide the sector’s future.

Reviewing and developing nearly 1,400 standards and over 50 qualifications, Waihanga Ara Rau says, ‘has maintained the currency of industry qualifications and begun the focus on creating a skilled workforce for the future’.

Philip Aldridge, Chief Executive of Waihanga Ara Rau, said, “Our Statement of Strategic Direction not only lays out our vision for the coming years but stands as a testament to the collective voice and aspirations of those we consulted. It’s not just our roadmap, but a commitment to the industry, Māori, and the wider community.

“This strategic document will guide what Waihanga Ara Rau does in the coming years and will be reviewed to ensure it remains current and effective. It will directly inform the annual Operational Plan (link), detailing deliverables, work plans, outcomes, and success measurements.”

He said Waihanga Ara Rau invites everyone interested in the future of Aotearoa New Zealand’s construction and infrastructure sectors to explore the Statement of Strategic Direction and engage in the discussion.

For more information see Waihangaararau Publications 

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