New Zealand’s expanding economy is creating opportunities for migrants, particularly those with skills in the construction industry
An expanding New Zealand economy is credited with bringing migration to a record high. Figures released by the country’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment May show that employment increased 0.7% in the first quarter of 2015, 3.3% over the year.
A knock-on effect shows in the migration figures, with New Zealand gaining a net 56,300 permanent and long-term migrants in the year ending March 2015.
Around a third of the annual growth in employment came from the construction industry where there are opportunities for skilled migrants, especially in the Canterbury region on South Island, where work-rebuilding areas affected by the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch in 2011 will be ongoing for some years to come.
The country’s most populous city Auckland has also shown strong construction industry employment demand, with new housing projects predicted to more than double over the next decade, with a large number of civil projects such as roads, electricity and water to support the developments.
Construction workers from the UK and Ireland are leading the way when it comes to moving to New Zealand. Employment growth and demand is strongest for highly-skilled occupations, including managers and professionals and skilled workers, with the list of skill shortages currently including carpenters, drain layers, forepersons, engineers, surveyors and project managers. The full list is available for download at: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz.
It’s not just the construction industry attracting migrants, forecasts indicate strong employment growth in primary processing, manufacturing industries such as machinery and equipment, metal products and in construction-related activities. It is, however, the ICT sector that is showing exceptional growth and is, along with construction, the fastest growing sector in the New Zealand economy, with employment in this sector growing by 35% between 2010 and 2014. Information technology and telecommunications infrastructure are also vital factors for growth and innovation in other parts of the economy.
Service industries, including the health, cultural and personal services sectors will also experience modest to strong employment growth. With an aging population there is a demand for medical professionals; doctors, dentists and nurses.
Immigration New Zealand’s National Manager, Marketing, Settlement, Protection and Attractions, Greg Forsythe said: “Although the increasing jobs coming on the market are offered first to New Zealand residents there are many opportunities for overseas applicants looking to make New Zealand their home. The quality of life is superb, New Zealand is ranked as the number one country in the world to raise children in a clean, healthy environment where no place is more than 128km from the sea; the country is ranked the least corrupt country in the world and is listed fourh out of 162 countries in the Global Peace Index Survey.”
New Zealand labour, market and skills research http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/lmr/