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On September 4th 2010 an earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand only to be followed by a second more devastating earthquake months later. The earthquake of February 22nd 2011 cost 200 people their lives and dramatically changed the face of the South Island’s largest city. Although the recent tragedy in Japan has diverted attention away from the earlier natural disasters in New Zealand, the full scale of the rebuild task required in Christchurch has not diminished.

For those in the construction and built environment industry the scale of the project means that help is needed from across the globe. The number of buildings damaged by the second earthquake hasn’t increased greatly, but the amount of damage has, four fold. Subsequently the cost of the rebuild has tripled to approximately $15billion, whilst in most cases the size of the teams needed for the epic rebuilding project has also increased threefold. For those looking for jobs in construction, New Zealand’s current need represents an opportunity to be involved in a challenging and fulfilling project abroad.

Phil Ponder, director at Catalyst Recruitment Ltd in New Zealand, revealed the extent of the challenge facing the construction industry and the implications for specialist recruitment in the region:

“The rebuild has taken on a completely new complexion as the landscape has literally changed. The Government has indicated that approximately $15billion damage has been caused. 100,000 of the 140,000 homes have been damaged with 10,000 no longer habitable. The Centre of Christchurch is devastated with somewhere between 25 and 33% of the buildings to be demolished.”

The infrastructure and residential repairs are the Government’s immediate priorities, with numerous skills required to orchestrate the physical recovery of the city. Of those in particularly high demand, Project and Site Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Estimators and Civil Engineers make up the majority. However other more specialist skills will be required, albeit in lesser numbers, for the work that takes place outside of infrastructure, with much of Christchurch’s historical centre sustaining significant damage.

Over the next 5 years structural engineers and designers with seismic experience will be essential. The number of those in the industry with this experience is currently being exhausted in New Zealand and more will need to be drafted in from areas where this experience is gleaned such as California, Canada and Europe to assist the recovery. With many sites experiencing heavy soil saturation there is a need for widespread and rigorous assessment before any construction work can take place. In this respect, Geotechnical Engineers, Civil Engineers with a specialisation in geotechnical designs, will be the most highly valued throughout the initial stages of the recovery process.

The need for these specialist skills in New Zealand has never been greater, nor the urgency with which they are required. is working with Catalyst Recruitment towards a recruitment solution for New Zealand in what is a time of great need for the construction and built environment industry in the region. is part of Totaljobs Group Ltd the UK's largest and fastest growing online recruitment company, comprising 11 job board businesses, which between them carry over 255,000 jobs, and attract over 3 million jobseekers every month who generate 1.6 million applications.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Grayling in the following categories: Environment & Nature, Manufacturing, Engineering & Energy, Construction & Property, for more information visit