New Zealand is currently experiencing an unprecedented spike in labour shortages; basically we have more jobs available than we do workers.
As a nation we are in a period of low unemployment - the lowest in 36 years - and have wages rising across the board.
Stats NZ’s business employment insights manager, Sue Chapman, says “The June quarter had the largest increase in LCI salary and wages rates since late-2008.”
“Over the year, a steadily increasing number of wages have been raised to better match market rates, as well as attracting or retaining staff,” she added.
So we have growth, we have a rise in wages, but we don’t have a local workforce that is big enough to meet demand, or be trained in time to avoid the labour shortage.
What else can employers do then?
With the shortages being seen across all industries, in all regions of the country, employers are taking advantage of the New Zealand government loosening the rules around immigration and migrant workers with the introduction of the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).
This means if workers have the skills and qualifications for a job, have a job offer from an accredited employer and meet other relevant immigration criteria, they may be able to fill a role in any number of industries that are currently experiencing worker shortages.
What industries need workers?
The government has defined two skill shortage lists:
- The Green List identifies occupations where there is a sustained and ongoing shortage of highly skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand
- The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List has occupations that are in critical shortage in the construction industry across the country
And the jobs included in these lists (with examples below) are across a wide range of sectors that include:
- Health and Social Services
- ICT, Electronics & Communications
- Hospitality, Recreation & Tourism
It’s worth noting that although there’s plenty of crossover between the three lists, the regions also have jobs that are specific only to their local needs. This is because of things like climate, the type of land (and what can be grown or reared on it) and scenic attractions/tourism.
For instance Northland, a region known as the “winterless north”, is hot and dry. So they need apiarists, arborists and market gardeners. And Nelson/Tasman and Marlborough, at the top of the South Island, are regions known for their vineyards and temperate climates. They need winemakers and viticulturist specialists.
Further down the South Island there’s a lot of adventure tourism requiring snow sport instructors and outdoor activity guides. Of course there are also jobs that need filling across ALL the regions.
Trades and industries are in high demand!
Covid has slowed the world down, but not the speed with which we need buildings built and roads laid, vehicles fixed and trucks driven.
Construction particularly has a huge need right now for project managers, project builders, surveyors, quantity surveyors, procurement managers, roading & infrastructure managers, site foremen, and building inspectors.
Engineers are being sought too, including chemical engineers, surveyors, draughtspersons, and civil, electronic & electrical engineering technicians.
We also need skilled tradies to fill jobs in all industries, including (but not limited to!) automotive electricians, diesel mechanics, metal fabricators & machinists, electricians, motor mechanics, panelbeaters, sheetmetal workers, car painters, plastics technicians, fitter-welders, bricklayers, stonemasons, carpenters, joiners, glaziers, plasterers, tilers, plumbers, scaffolders, truck drivers.
The labour shortage is real
Plain and simple, there are not enough skilled workers in New Zealand to fill jobs. Which is why we welcome migrants to join us and bring the talents, skills and experience that will enable New Zealand businesses to keep growing.