A plan to train hundreds of workers for the Christchurch rebuild is being described as extremely timely.

900 tradespeople will be trained or up-skilled as part of a new government initiative.

Bruce Kohn from the Building Industry Federation says the scheme coincides with a growing level of activity in the quake-torn city.

He says there's a shortage of all types of workers including roofers, steel handlers and concrete layers.


Mr Kohn hopes people from all over the country take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

He says it's not only builders who are needed - one company is trying to repair thousands of driveways.

Mr Kohn says the target of 900 new tradespeople needs to be met, because the demand is there.

A social media campaign will be in place and a special bus will tour the South Island to attract workers to fill the skills gap.

Philip Aldridge from the training group Infra-Train is cautiously optimistic the hundreds of people needed can be found.

He says it's an exciting opportunity for job hunters and it's a chance for Cantabrians and others around the country to learn new skills and gain employment for the next few years.