new zealand railway
A railway line is damaged by an earthquake, near Tirohanga stream south of Blenheim on the South Island of New Zealand, November 14, 2016. Reuters/Anthony Phelps

Transport minister Simon Bridges has announced that the government needed up to 600 general workers to build the City Rail Link (CRL) when the construction peaks. However, it was not yet sure how many migrants workers would be considered in the project.

Bridges said that entry-level workers, skilled labourers and specialist trades people were needed to finish the project. He added that the construction was already bringing the Aucklanders and New Zealanders hundreds of employment opportunities. Bridges said that CRL would provide significant transport benefits for the people in the future. Meanwhile, the Building and Industry Training Organisation launched a campaign that would attract new apprentices.

Project director Chris Meale said that there would be time for people working on the project to progress and develop their career as the project would not be completed until 2023. He said they would provide internships, cadetships and apprenticeships to contractors that would give them the learning they needed. They would be given a chance to upskill and to reskill their knowledge and experience. He said that Mana Whenua, Maori, Pasifika and young people aged 15 to 24 years old would be provided with opportunities for employment, training and social innovation. Phil Goff, Auckland mayor, said that a critical skill shortage was created as the construction of the CRL boomed.

Meale said that CRL was encouraging the upcoming generation to pursue careers in the trade and infrastructure sector. He said the careers could be pursued through schools, universities and educational institute offering targeted and innovative programmes in line with the sector's requirements.

CRL is New Zealand's largest transport infrastructure project. The joint project of the government and the Auckland Council began in December 2015. The project helped the construction industry to increase its value and expected to grow to $37 billion (AU$34 billion) towards the end of 2017. However, recruiters Michael Page said that due to the talent shortage and salary increase, the construction and property projects have stalled.

The City Rail Link was the top transport priority for Auckland. It would extend the passenger rail system of Auckland past Britomart. It aimed to be connected to Mt Eden's existing regional rail network. New stations would be added including the Aoeta Square and the Karangahape Road while Britomart would become a through station. Mt Eden would have a redeveloped station. The CRL would use twin 3.4 km long tunnels below the city centre streets.

City Rail Link video

Youtube/Auckland Transport