Lower Hut now has a Jobs and Skills Hub

The Ministry of Social Development is gearing up to help provide a pipeline of labour for major infrastructure projects across the Hutt Valley, estimated to be valued at $2.7 billion* over the next 10 years.

The projects are planned to take place from 2022 to 2031 and will create thousands of job opportunities.

“It’s critical that our partners get the workers they need to get these projects humming,” said Amy Henare, Director of Employment Programmes at MSD.

“We’re setting up a Jobs and Skills Hub in the first half of next year that will provide the Hutt Valley community with training and work opportunities in construction and infrastructure. The hub will be located in Lower Hutt.”

“MSD’s role to is keep New Zealanders in jobs, and we’re working closely with the construction and infrastructure sector to get people trained up to fill skills gaps. With near-record low unemployment finding staff can be tough and through this Lower Hutt hub we can help address a predicted construction and infrastructure workforce shortage.”

In Auckland three successful Jobs and Skills Hubs have provided the labour for massive building projects in Manukau, the North Shore and the City Centre in recent years.

The Lower Hutt hub will be the first outside of Auckland and will support the Riverlink, Wellington water and Hutt Valley transport projects.

The hub is supported by Waka Kotahi, Hutt City Council and Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce. MSD is also working closely with Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa to ensure community needs are met.

All partners recognise the need for a skilled workforce who have the necessary development and training to secure employment opportunities attached to these projects.

RiverLink project partners have agreed to use the hub as the key source of recruitment for their programme of work.

“Our RiverLink programme objectives go further than just delivering great infrastructure for Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai. Through the hub, we hope to be able to provide real opportunities for kiwis in the region to gain new skills that will set them up for a long and successful career in the trades and construction industry,” RiverLink Programme Director Rod James said.

“We are really excited about the opportunity to connect businesses involved in major construction and infrastructure projects, like RiverLink, to their future employees through the establishment of the Jobs and Skills Hub in the Hutt Valley. This a really fantastic opportunity for all people, but particularly our rangatahi, to discover, explore, connect to, experience, and be trained for a future in these major projects,” said Patrick McKibbin, CEO of the Hutt valley Chamber of Commerce.

“Taranaki Whānui are a cornerstone member of the Mana Whenua Steering Group that has been advocating for the establishment of the Job and Skills Hub alongside its partners. We are seeking the optimum benefits and opportunities for local iwi, Māori, Pasefika and the wider community to uplift the social, economic and financial wellbeing of communities. The Job and Skills Hub offers our rangatahi (youth) pathways to a selection of meaningful careers leading to transformational change in our Te Awa Kairangi communities,” said Lee Hunter, Chief Executive of Taranaki Whānui.

For job seekers, the hub will be a one stop shop for jobs in construction and infrastructure. The hub will also support people already employed in the industry to upskill with apprenticeship and training opportunities.

Employers will get help to find skilled workers for projects, extend the hiring pool of potential candidates and help managers upskill current staff.

Hub staff will be out and about in the community promoting construction careers and training opportunities to local schools, iwi, churches and non-government agencies to ensure a pipeline of skilled local people to enter sustainable jobs.

If your organisation is interested in collaborating or co-locating with the Lower Hutt Jobs and Skills Hub, please contact MSD: jobsandskillshubs@msd.govt.nz

Editor’s note

  • The value of these projects was estimated by the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce.