• Deputy Prime Minister turns the sod on new Jobs and Skills Hub for Hawke's Bay

Deputy Prime Minister turns the sod on new Jobs and Skills Hub for Hawke's Bay

A new Jobs and Skills Hub, once built, will not only help support Hawke's Bay's rebuild and recovery in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, but it will also help support major infrastructure projects long-term, Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni says. 

Sepuloni, also the Minister of Social Development and Employment, was joined by Associate Minister of Cyclone Recovery Barbara Edmonds in Hawke's Bay yesterday morning where they marked the commencement of upcoming construction on the new Building Futures Training Facility where the Jobs and Skills Hub will be co-located. 

Associate Minister of Cyclone Recovery Barbara Edmonds (left) with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni in Hastings yesterday. Photo/Hawke's Bay App.

“This is a big win for Hawke’s Bay,” Sepuloni said of the hub, which will be located in Hastings. 

The hub is set to help job seekers and will also help them build $1.1 billion worth of homes in Hawke’s Bay and help with the construction of a new hospital for the region.

“Following Cyclone Gabrielle, the need for workers in the Hawke’s Bay region is greater than ever. That’s why I’m pleased that The Hub’s focus has now widened to include any infrastructure or construction projects that are needed as a result of the cyclone.

“The Hub will be a space where people can talk to someone about working in construction, no matter their level of experience. It will link people up with training and job opportunities, setting them up for long-term, sustainable careers while filling the industry’s need for skilled workers." 

Sepuloni said collaboration will be key to its success which is why ‘partnership’ across every pocket of the region sits at the heart of the delivery of the Jobs and Skills Hub.

The Hub is partnering with local councils, Te Kahui Ohanga o Takitimu, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Skills Leadership Group, EIT/Te Pūkenga, and key housing development stakeholders such as K3 Kahungunu Property, and Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust.

“We’re committed to playing our part to drive a rapid and sustainable shift that delivers the right people, at the right time, with the right skills to meet New Zealand's current and future construction labour needs." 

Construction of the Jobs and Skills Hub will begin in July.

The Ministers' visit began with a Pacific Post-Budget Breakfast with the Pacific community and stakeholders at the Hawke’s Bay Cook Islands Community Centre and ended at Hastings Boys High School, where they met students as part of the Building Academy. 

"It was fantastic to be able to reconnect with our Tuki Tuki community. They're such a hearty bunch of Pacific people and they've shown their resilience and strength during and post-Cyclone Gabrielle. It was really good to reconnect with them and to explain to them what budget 2023 means to them," Edmonds told Hawke's Bay App.

As Associate Minister of Cyclone Recovery, Edmonds said they are working with all the local authorities and regional councils and want it to be locally led and centrally supported.

"As the minister of cyclone recovery has said, next week we will be working with the community around the land use categorizations and decisions there that need to be consulted with the community.

"It's going to take a long time, this rebuild. We never shied away from that. But the main thing, as the Deputy Prime Minister said, it's about all of us working together to get those outcomes for Hawke's Bay."