To keep up with construction growth in Auckland and around New Zealand, it is clear that many more plumbers, gasfitters, and drainlayers are needed.
The latest research shows that the plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying sector needs nearly 8,000 new workers by 2020. Around 492 people are needed to fill plumber, gasfitter, and drainlayer jobs every year to keep up with employment growth.
The plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying courses at polytechnics are currently at full capacity, worsening the risk of the skill shortage. Industry Connection for Excellence (ICE) – a collaboration between industry stakeholders and Skills – will provide the extra high-quality plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying training to meet New Zealand’s ongoing demand.
ICE is a newly established entity representing a more agile approach to training delivery in the plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying sector.
Initially based out of an Auckland location, the school will be a combination of a permanent hub and mobile facilities designed to make training convenient to both trainees and their employers.
The course content is based on and aligned with established programmes, providing consistency of content and delivery to meet industry expectations. This will increase accessibility and capacity, to complement the already available high-quality courses.
The primary purpose of ICE is simple: to grow both the quality and capacity of training in New Zealand’s plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying sector, ensuring that future demand will be met.
ICE will also invite more involvement and collaboration among various bodies within the industry. This will provide wholesalers, manufacturers, utilities, and other stakeholders with the opportunity to have more involvement in the development and delivery of training in the sector.
This approach also comes with many other benefits for the wider industry:
ICE is established as a charitable company, with a Trust as the shareholder and trustees representing plumbing industry stakeholders. A board of directors ensures the school operates with the best interests of the industry in mind.
Garry McKenzie has dedicated over 30 years to the building services industry in New Zealand.
After completing his plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying apprenticeship in Manukau, it didn’t take Garry long to move on to supervisory positions. He then applied his knowledge, experience, and coaching and people skills to take on senior technical sales roles in the gas & electric appliance, CNG, and LPG sectors. He soon progressed to senior management positions at leading water heating, pipe & rainwater system, and plumbing hardware brands.
Garry’s successful career in retail, distribution, manufacturing, importing and exporting, trade associations, Industry Standards and the building services industry means he has developed trusted relationships and a solid network across New Zealand. He has a passion for the industry and is thrilled to be part of this exciting venture, and the opportunity to train a new generation of highly qualified new entrants to the building industry.
In his spare time, Garry is devoted to his wife and teenage daughter (and their horse, dog, and cat). A gourmet cook and sometimes Tango dancer, he is also handy with the hammer and saw. His medium-term family goal is to build a house on their lifestyle block near the Kaipara Harbour, and then go fishing.