Practical response to skills shortage 9 Nov 2016 Practical response to skills shortageNew developments in employment and skills have been welcomed by BusinessNZ.Two new jobs and skills hubs were announced today – centres where training and services can be delivered in support of large construction projects in Auckland: the Tamaki hub supporting housing development around Tamaki, and the CBD hub supporting commercial and housing development in central areas of Auckland.BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said the 'training and services hub approach' is working well at Auckland Airport, where it is delivering the skills needed for local construction development and allowing for local people to be upskilled in areas of specific demand. He said it was good news that this approach was going to be used more widely. An announcement of additional funding for more apprenticeships was also made today, in support of an enlarged target of 50,000 people in apprenticeships by 2020.Mr Hope said that was a practical response to current skills shortages and would be helpful in lowering the numbers of young people not in employment, education or training.The announcements form part of the release of a new chapter of the Government's Business Growth Agenda - 'Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces' - aimed at increasing employment skills in areas of greatest demand. Mr Hope said it was clear that the problem of skills shortages was being taken seriously, and policies were being advanced to help business and economic growth."Raising New Zealanders' skill levels in building and construction is a practical response to construction needs in Auckland." Mr Hope said.