Master Plumbers welcomes support for trades in Budget 2020
14 May 2020
Master Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers NZ welcomes the support for trades employers and apprentices in Budget 2020.
"We are extremely pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of providing financial support to assist companies in our sector to stay in business, pay staff and retain their apprentices," says Master Plumbers Chief Executive Greg Wallace.
With New Zealand already experiencing a critical shortage of skilled tradespeople, the $1.6bn Budget funding for a Trades and Apprentices Training Package is a much-needed investment in the construction industry, he says.
"This shows the Government’s acknowledgement of the value of apprentice training and we look forward to seeing how this funding will be delivered."
Wallace says plumbing is a critical sector of the construction industry, providing essential infrastructure for new and existing buildings.
"Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers are always in demand. At all COVID-19 Alert Levels, our trades have been deemed essential services in ensuring New Zealanders homes are warm and dry and have supplies of hot and cold water."
With technological advances, plumbing is no longer all about toilets and wastewater, he adds.
"Today’s plumbing industry is highly sophisticated. Most of the work plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers carry out is new and clean construction or renovation, with businesses often handling complex hydraulic designs and plumbing systems for large-scale developments.
"It is a great trade for smart people who are skilled with their hands, good at problem solving and have excellent communications and customer service skills."
Wallace is especially pleased to see $412m of the Trades and Apprentices Training Package going to the employers that play an essential role in providing apprentices with the necessary on-job training.
"A lack of apprentices today, means a lack of skilled workers tomorrow, so it is good to see Government support for the businesses that train.
"New Zealand will need a robust, skilled workforce to rebuild our economy and meet future demand."