The Government is under fire over its efforts to boost the number of tradespeople to help rebuild Christchurch.
The news that some industries are still desperate for trained workers comes after revelations that only a fraction of the millions specifically allocated for the training of tradespeople has been spent.
In May last year, Prime Minister John Key trumpeted the $42 million tertiary training boost for Christchurch, but 13 months on some industries in the city are still crying out for workers.
The Labour Party says for many firms it means having to recruit overseas.
"The Government put forward a skills package for Canterbury of $40 million. That was a good thing," said Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson.
"In a year they've spent $17 million and we've still got people on the ground in Christchurch who want to do training. Got providers who want to provide it and yet the money's just sitting there."
The Government acknowledges migrant workers will be part of the rebuild, but says it has a vast array of training work underway in Canterbury and has allocated as much as it can given the delays and uncertainties with the rebuild.
"The reality is it takes time and you can't frogmarch people into trades training," said Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce.
"We have skills brokers, both in the private sector and the MSD and we've got the polytechs very active."
While trades like scaffolding have too much work, some tradespeople like builders are finding there is not enough work yet to justify staying in the city.
Meanwhile, one of the city's key training providers, Christchurch's polytech, says it has got a lot of interest in its trades courses, with the number of students enrolled up 37% this year.