The recent “Women in Construction Expo”, coordinated by Partners Porirua, was a big success, with over 18 businesses showcasing job opportunities for young women in construction.
College students and female job seekers moved around the room like speed-dating. Talking to local employers and women in the industry and learning about available jobs and career pathways.
The Te Aranga Alliance supported the event as part of the drive to get more young women thinking about a career in construction.
Mel McIvor, the Senior Advisor- Workforce Development at Te Aranga Alliance, explains,
“We’re here to show young people about construction as a career,” says Mel. “It’s not about which company you go and work for. It’s about making young people aware of the available opportunities.”
Te Aranga Alliance is a new group of construction and infrastructure experts formed to support Kainga Ora by preparing land in Eastern Porirua to construct new homes.
“We’re screaming out for drain layers, engineers, project managers, construction managers – even the jobs at the top.”
The work by Te Aranga will include site investigations, earthworks, asbestos removal, house demolitions and upgrades to pipe networks and infrastructure. This collaboration is still at an early stage. Still, the initial estimates indicate that around 250 jobs could be created in the next few years.
Mel says, “We know that giving people the skills and training takes time. So, it’s about talking to our tamariki while they are still at school – when they are thinking about which subjects to study.”
“Women don’t often think about construction as a career. We want to inspire students to keep studying subjects like science and maths because they lead to good careers and introduce them to wahine in the industry who have made it.”
Mel says the construction sector is almost at a crisis point regarding skills. It’s not just at the entry-level; it’s the qualified senior roles they need.
When there are pieces of work that run for a 7–10-year period, it’s an opportunity to recruit young people, give them the skills to get qualified, get them working and help them with ongoing training and qualifications.
Michelle Robinson, Executive Director at Partners Porirua, says the event also enabled young wahine to talk to future role models. Showcasing various jobs, from groundwork to design, architecture, and engineering.
“The construction sector is our biggest employer in Porirua,” she says. “We hope more rangatahi will be switched on to the opportunities available. Construction is not just a job; it’s a career.”