The skilled labour shortage has once again reared its head, with businesses in the Bay of Plenty fearful that the situation is now affecting their income.
This problem is nothing new but has been exacerbated by border closures and headhunters from Australia who are paying higher wages to attract Kiwi talent.
The trades in particular have taken a big hit, and when you combine that with the regional housing boom there is plenty of work but not enough workers.
This is occurring even though more apprentices are training and BCITO is on the verge of hitting an all-time high of 20,000 apprentices. The Government has also pumped millions of dollars into schemes designed to encourage young people to take up the jobs.
However, this has created a catch 22 scenario.
Despite the funding - which includes $16,000 to employers for the first two years of training and scrapped apprenticeship fees - it still costs and can take years before they are qualified.
As reported on Saturday, all the trades are struggling to keep up with demand and find skilled workers.
Tauranga Hardware and Plumbing managing director Craig McCord says the situation has created a ''perfect storm'' .
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McCord has one van off the road, which means he is losing money, and a plumber stuck in South Africa due to Covid red tape.
Fellow tradies, Brill Bricklaying Ltd owner Eddie Brill and Regency Painters & Decorators owner Darran Richardson, say the biggest issue they face is getting people because the work is physically challenging and unglamorous.
Business leaders say there will be a drain to Australia where pay packets are higher and the cost of housing is lower.
There is no magic solution to this dilemma. You could argue that we need to match the incentives being offered across the Tasman but I can't see that happening anytime soon.
At the moment good tradespeople are worth their weight in gold. But the value of gold, like other commodities, goes up and down.
I think it will be a case of riding out the storm until the rush of apprentices do their time.