With New Zealand set to embark upon one of its most ambitious construction projects yet, which will create thousands of new homes over the next ten years, it is looking to the UK to supply some of the more than 60,000 construction workers required in the short to medium term.
Why the UK?
In the continuing post-Brexit economic downturn, which has seen the UK construction sector badly affected, and with political uncertainty in the UK likely to last for several years to come as Brexit negotiations continue, New Zealand feels that UK construction workers will be ready, willing and able to take up the opportunity to work abroad.
According to the Guardian, confidence levels amongst UK construction companies have fallen to one of their lowest levels for years. The only area to register expansion in September was housebuilding, although the momentum was slow.
What’s on offer?
The New Zealand government realises that despite recruiting over 10,000 apprentices locally, this will not meet the demands of its ambitious housing plans. It has therefore put plans in place to fast track the visa application process for skilled construction workers wishing to work in the country.
Specialist recruitment firms are also working with New Zealand companies, putting together lucrative packages to entice skilled UK construction workers. Potential construction migrants will be able to visit the country and experience the lifestyle it has to offer in the hope that this will encourage them to move.
Relocating to another country can be an expensive business, but UK construction workers should be in a strong position to negotiate excellent relocation support as part of their employment package.
There will be many construction workers who choose to stay in the UK for personal reasons, of course, such as family commitments. These workers will need to ride out the economic uncertainty and even look to invest in their business to secure new projects. Upgrading equipment and vehicles by adding roof racks, tow bars and ply lining can extend capacity and provide a more professional image, with many companies supplying vehicle-accessories such as these.
For those who are willing to take seize the moment and take up the opportunity, it seems that New Zealand could provide a real opportunity for beleaguered UK construction workers looking for a different lifestyle.