Kickstarting work and accelerating projects to mitigate impacts of Covid-19

Find out about the Accord’s work to build resilience and position the sector to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Government and industry have progressed medium-term actions to build resilience and position the sector to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. They recognise that the sector's best route to recovery is engaging in a longer-term pipeline of construction work. They also recognise that some of the immediate impacts of COVID-19 may have longer-term skills and mental health and wellness impacts.

Rapid Mobilisation Playbook

  • In collaboration with New Zealand Government Procurement and Property, Aurecon and the Accord Forum, the Accord developed and published the Rapid Mobilisation Playbook. This practical guide is designed to help procuring agencies start construction projects (including 'shovel-ready' projects) in a fast and safe way. This will protect jobs and help achieve broader social, cultural, environmental and economic outcomes.
  • The Playbook will help organisations and project teams that have less experience procuring largescale projects on an accelerated time frame. This will ensure government construction projects can lend further support to New Zealand’s recovery from COVID-19.

Supporting apprentices to remain in training

  • Accord members' advice helped ensure that the sector's needs were taken into account as part of government's cross agency support in helping employers continue to invest in workforce training and development. This resulted in the Apprenticeship Support Program, which includes Apprenticeship Boost, extension to Mana in Mahi, support to Group Training Schemes and the Regional Apprenticeships Initiative.
  • This support is helping employers keep apprentices in training during times of retrenched construction activity. This will reduce the risk of long-term impacts on the skilled workforce pipeline that were felt following the Global Financial Crisis.

MATES in Construction mental health support

  • Supported by the Accord, MATES in Construction is working to improve mental wellness and reduce suicide in the construction industry.
  • MATES in Construction provided valuable mental health support during and following the immediate impacts of COVID-19. The Lunch Room, a virtual chat room for people working in the construction sector wanting to talk about their concerns, was in high demand throughout lockdown. Since then, demand for MATES services has increased, especially for the helpline services, an increased number of people have been referred to Case Managers.
  • MATES in Construction also presented a webinar on mental health and wellbeing as part of the Accord’s Towards High Performance webinar series.
  • This support is building resilience and helping to provide confidence in the future for both business owners and workers.

Since 2019, 76 industry organisations have partnered with MATES in Construction, 127 sites across New Zealand are delivering their programmes, with 8,057 workers inducted.

Research has highlighted that the Construction industry has the highest rate of suicide, when compared to other industries in New Zealand. Together with societal impactors, industry pressures have been cited as contributing to poor mental health and mental distress. Now more than ever we need to build communities, stay connected and know where to reach out, when help is needed.

Chris Alderson, Chair, MATES in Construction New Zealand.

Shovel-ready projects

  • The Accord has been directed by Cabinet to provide procurement advice to project owners for shovel-ready projects. These infrastructure projects, which vary in scale and complexity, will contribute to economic recovery from COVID-19 while enabling investment in long-term infrastructure.
  • Cabinet's direction recognises the Accord's role in establishing good procurement practice through its established platform for government and industry collaboration.
Last updated: 17 December 2020