Surveys launched to get more women into the trades

Surveys launched to get more women into the trades

Trade Careers is launching two nationwide surveys on Wednesday 14 April to understand more about why women are not entering trade careers and what may be preventing employers in the trades from hiring more women.

To date, 22,000 women have lost their jobs in New Zealand due to COVID-19.

Women makeup half the population yet in total there are only 13.5% of women in the trades including in administrative roles.

“We think these percentages need to be a lot higher,” says Toby Beagehole, Chief Executive, BCITO.

“At Skills, we have seen an increase in female apprentices overall but those numbers could still be higher,” says Garry Fissenden, CEO Skills. “We want women to see that it’s not just a great career for the lads. It provides real career opportunities for women, too – and many of those businesses that take on our female apprentices, just love their attitude. We are excited to see more women taking those opportunities, too.”

Trade Careers is the first project of the newly formed Women in Trades Collective (WITC) and is supported by BCITO, Connexis, Skills, and Competenz and funded by the Tertiary Education Commission.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) estimates there will be 56,000 new jobs in construction by 2029 — far more than the 24,000 jobs created in the past decade.

“Having more women in the trades will play a big part in meeting the long-term skills shortage in the industry. Unfortunately, for many women, entering the trades is easier said than done.’ says Fiona Kingsford, Chief Executive Competenz.

“This project has the opportunity to radically change the industry and improve the lives of thousands of women, their families, and our communities. We believe that by working together with both women, who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, and employers we can develop innovative solutions to increase women’s participation in the trade workforce,“ says Kaarin Gaukrodger, Chief Executive of Connexis, the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation.

“We encourage women who are thinking of retraining or who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 to take the survey. Employers,  we are relying on you to help us get it right” says Toby Beagehole.

The surveys run from 14 April  – 7 May

For more information please go to 

Women Survey

If you have lost your job due to COVID-19 we want to hear from you. Your answers are the single most important driver of change to getting more women into the trades.

Employer Survey

We want to learn more about the opportunities and barriers that employers experience in employing women.What do you need to know about? What are your concerns?

Plumbing Gasfitting and Drainlaying Qualifications Review

Plumbing Gasfitting and Drainlaying Qualification Review 

Skills is seeking expressions of interest to be a part of the PGD qualification review.

Skills is seeking expressions of interest for individuals who would like to participate in the review of PGD qualifications at level 3 and 4, including:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying (Pre-Apprenticeship) (Level 3) [Ref: 2660]
  • New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing (Level 4) [Ref: 2663]
  • New Zealand Certificate in Gasfitting (Level 4) [Ref: 2662]
  • New Zealand Certificate in Drainlaying (Level 4) [Ref: 2661]

Individuals who wish to participate will be required to:

  • Attend meetings to provide critique during the review of the qualifications (confirm strategic purpose, review broad learning outcomes for graduates, education and employment pathways.) 
  • Consult with their own networks to receive feedback on the review outcomes and communicate this to The Skills Organisation.
  • Consider feedback from wider networks and;
  • provide final endorsement of the qualifications prior to submission to NZQA. 

Interested persons should consider the following: 

  • Participation in this review is voluntary and non-funded by The Skills Organisation
  • Any travel and day costs will be met by each individual or their organisation
  • Members will be chosen based on their expertise and suitability
  • Available to attend the initial meeting via Microsoft Teams and subsequent meetings via Microsoft Teams or Face to Face, and further correspondence by email. 
  • If you are unable to attend but would like to receive project updates and provide feedback on project developments, you can subscribe to the wider consultation group. 

Express your interest to be considered for the Working Group by completing the Expression of Interest form below by 24 March 2021.  

Selected members will be informed by close of business 31 March 2021 with the initial meeting to be held on 21 April 2021 in Auckland.  


Real Estate Review – Consultation Report

Real Estate Review

Consultation Report

Consultation Results for the Proposed Real Estate Qualification Suite

We are pleased to announce we have been able to build a robust, fit for purpose and efficient qualification for the long-term success of the real estate industry.  The Skills Organisation (Skills) together with the Real Estate Authority (REA) and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) aligned to review the qualifications through an industry and public request for consultation.  We now present the results of the qualification review consultation.

The objective of the review and the proposed qualification solution is to ensure that the real estate qualifications suite and delivery programmes are fit for purpose for the industry and meet regulatory requirements. A strong New Zealand qualifications suite is key to supporting high standards of conduct and professionalism across the industry and plays an important role in lifting public confidence in real estate professionals.

On 19 January, consultation launched on the proposed qualification solution. Consultation closed on 22 February. 80 people completed the survey through the Skills website, responding to 12 key questions. In addition, 11 experienced and senior leaders in the industry requested half-hour private consultation sessions which were conducted by Skills with the support of REINZ and REA.

Throughout the consultation period, Skills reviewed the feedback, responded to all individual submissions and relayed pertinent and relevant information to REA and REINZ for their consideration and review. These discussions have provided important insights and are being addressed in the development of the qualifications. The feedback received through the consultation process recorded significant support of the proposed changes.

To view the key themes from the comments click below.

Next steps

Required step


Step 1: Complete review of existing qualifications

Gather feedback from industry and education providers to design an alternative suite


Step 2: Consultation

Invite feedback from industry and the public on the proposed qualification suite.


Step 3: Review submissions and feedback.

Determine whether to edit the final qualification suite based on feedback received.

Complete – deemed fit for purpose

Step 4: Submit final option to NZQA for approval

March 8th 2021

Step 5: Work with Ministry of Justice to complete changes to licensing Regulations and Legislation as required.

April- June 2021

Step 6: Final option approved by NZQA

June 2021

Step 7: Work with training providers to develop training programmes for enrolment. We will be calling for more industry assistance here.

June-December 2021

Step 8: Enrolments open for new learners. Support from training providers with transitional arrangements for existing learners.

To be determined by training providers; with aim of earliest possible release


Proposed Real Estate Qualification Suite Outline

Managing Your Business While in Lockdown

Top Tips for Working On Your Business

COVID-19 has made big change happen in a short space of time – and its impact reaches far and wide.

For businesses, this impact has been particularly harsh. While your business might have been through a downturn before, this situation is unique. It isn’t lack of work, but an inability to go to work that’s causing issues – unless, of course, your work is deemed essential.

We’ve put together some tips to help you. We know looking at budgets and forecasts can be overwhelming, but that’s what accountants, banks and other experts are there for – so don’t be afraid to ask them for help and advice, or check out their online resources.

1. Essential Service

Can any of your work be considered essential? See if you qualify to register as an essential service at this link. If you do:


  • Make sure you update your website and/or Facebook page and let any relevant customers know.
  • Look at your Health & Safety Plan – this will now need to take into account COVID 19 and any threat to your team or your customers.
  • Be aware of pressure from some customers to also carry out non-essential work. Have a response prepared in advance, so you aren’t caught on the hop.

2. Understand your Cashflow

Cash is King and every business will need to address its cashflow – how much is coming in and going out – due to reduced or no workload and continuing overheads. You might also be facing slow or non-payment from customers. Even your regular customers may have come under financial pressure, impacting their ability to pay. And this, sadly, may carry on well after lockdown finishes.


  • Do a cashflow projection for the next three months. Cater for various scenarios, like slow payment from debtors. It’s important to revisit it each week and update it with Actuals. There are plenty of guides online to help you do this, so don’t be shy about getting on Google or watching some videos.
  • Contact your accountant if you need some assistance. It’s good to involve them early.

3. Check that Budget

If you haven’t done so already, look at your budget to find out what income you’ll need to keep the business running (or breakeven) at your current staffing levels. This, paired with a workflow forecast of what may be in the pipeline, will help guide you on the workforce size you need to maintain in the short-term and the long-term.


  • Check out the information in your accounting package, as this may help give you an idea of what it costs to run your business at current staffing levels if you are unsure.

4. Talk to Your Team

People are key to the success of any business so talk to your staff. This is a time of great anxiety for everyone – and your decisions directly affect them. Staff will also be more motivated if they feel supported and part of a team.


  • Ask their opinion – you may be surprised with some of the solutions they come up with.
  • Keep them informed. If you are having problems with cash or facing layoffs, let them know. They may be willing to take a reduced income to help, or those without families and financial commitments may put their hand up first to be laid off. Also, let them know about wage subsidies available from the government.
  • It would also be wise to review employment agreements and policy documents early, so if you do have to lay off staff, you follow the correct procedure.
  • Before talking to staff, take a moment to catch your breath and think about what you want to say. As a leader, people are looking to you for cool, calm leadership.
  • However you approach things, do it with compassion and care.

5. Customer Care

Even though there may be issues with payment, it is important to stay focused on your customer. Because once work starts again, you’re likely going to face a lot more competition for jobs.


  • Identify your top customers and make contact early to find out how they are and offer support.
  • Share any relevant information with them that you have found useful.
  • Find out what future work they may still have coming up. This will help with your workflow forecasts.

6. Contact Your Bank Early

Banks are happy to support businesses, so contact your bank manager to see what options are available. Send your cash projections to them, key information such as debtors and creditors, along with a snapshot of where your business is at now and in the future.


  • Banks don’t want to hear from you when you’ve run out of cash. They want to know well in advance, as this gives them confidence in your business model and means they can give you advice before things get out of hand.
  • Investigate loan and mortgage holidays or lease relief options, so you have the right information to make informed decisions.
  • Involve your accountant early on.

7. Review Your Business Plan

Review your business plan if you have one. If not, now is the perfect time to do one. Focus on the external environment and how the effects of COVID 19 may affect your business and your clients.


  • Identify ways your business can adapt, such as positioning it to take advantage of an increasing government spend on infrastructure and schools. There are plenty of guides online to help you create this. Check out or other sites such as your own bank for other tips and advice.

8. Systems Check

While business is quiet, take the time to do a review of the IT systems you use – how could your business adapt through using technology?


  • What works well and what doesn’t? What have you learnt by working remotely that you could potentially bring into the business after lockdown ends?
  • Do you have an accounting package, health and safety, and job management software? Maybe now is the time to research options?
  • What do your suppliers link in to?

Every business will need to work their way through their planning in their own way – but having a good knowledge of what your business requires to survive, and grow again, will make life much easier when you can finally get back to work.