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Cranes don’t always make national headlines, so many may be surprised that the industry has drawn a lot of attention in recent months.

For example, the New Zealand Herald ran several articles earlier this year on the growing presence of cranes being erected across Auckland. These were based on Rider Levett Bucknall’s (RLB) Crane Index, which found that there were 47 operating cranes in Auckland – a record number.

This ‘boom’ in cranes is being witnessed around the entire country, with RLB reporting a total of 98 cranes in operation in New Zealand. This is an increase of 24% from Q4 2015.

An increasing number of cranes can only mean positive signs for Auckland’s building sector, but many will be asking: do we have the fully qualified workforce to meet this demand? It is forecast that around 330 new workers are needed in the sector by 2020 to meet employment growth and replacement demand. Around half of these workers are expected to be required in Auckland.

A total of 1,300 people was employed in the Cranes and Elevated Platforms industry last year. Encouragingly, employment in the sector has grown by around 2.8% each year since 2011 (overall employment in New Zealand grew at a rate of 1.6% over the same period). But what is most positive is the long-term outlook on this industry’s workforce. The Skills Organisation currently has approximately 3,139 trainees actively completing qualifications in the cranes sector.

This represents a massive growth from just 752 trainees this time last year. The number of cranes in Auckland may be growing, but with the industry’s qualified workforce also showing impressive growth to match, the future of Auckland’s building sector looks to be in safe hands.

The Skills Organisation is the industry training organisation overseeing cranes, elevated platforms, rigging, rope access, and scaffolding – along with numerous other industries – in New Zealand. Come and visit us at Auckland Build Expo 2016!

Via The Skills Organisation.