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Latest skill shortages in New Zealand

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHays quarterly report has highlighted the occupations that are most in demand in New Zealand. The most recent report, covering April – June 2013, shows that tradesmen continue to be needed as the Christchurch rebuild picks up pace and other professions joining the demand include accountancy and IT professionals.

New Zealand is on the hunt for skilled, experienced professionals with at least a few years’ work experience under their belts (rather than recent graduates or students) in the following areas:

Accountancy and finance – commerce and industry

  • Senior Payroll Consultants/Payroll Managers
  • Payroll Officers
  • Credit Control – candidates with the proven ability to maintain a strong relationship with a client or a customer whilst successfully collecting monies owed are in constant demand.
  • Accounts Payable – there’s a high demand for skilled and experienced Accounts Payable Processors, in particular in temporary and contract positions, as organisations look to maintain their invoice processing.
  • Assistant Accountants
  • Financial Analysts
  • Company Accountants – candidates who have a large scope of skills and abilities and who can take on varied roles are in demand as more companies restructure or absorb roles.
  • Financial Accountants – technical candidates, who can work through year end and month end, especially at this time of year, are in high demand.
  • Manufacturing Accountants – there is a high demand for skills in the manufacturing sector. Because it is such a specialist industry, the background in this sector is essential for most candidates. Therefore, there is a shortage of candidates in this area.
  • Auditors (Professional Practice) – these candidates are always going overseas or joining the commercial realm, which is creating a shortage in this space.
  • Internal Audit – this is notoriously a high-demand area as these candidates require a very “different” blend of skills.

Accountancy and finance – professional practice

  • Business Advisory Services Intermediates – in demand at all intermediate, senior and manager levels.
  • Manager and Senior – as corporate businesses start ramping up due to the Christchurch rebuild they are asking for more advisory services, for example, cash flow forecasting, tax advice, financial modelling, and it’s the Senior and Managers that can provide this advice.
  • Intermediates – with the Seniors and Managers time being absorbed in doing more ‘advisory’ work there is demand for Intermediate Accountants to do more compliance work.
  • BAS – demand is particularly high for candidates from big firms as they have big client experience.
  • Audit
  • Tax – many candidates leave tax before reaching Manager or Assistant Manager level, leaving this area candidate short at the upper levels.

Architecture

  • Architectural Technicians (2+ years) (ArchiCAD)
  • Project Architects (10+ years)
  • Architectural Technicians (2+ years) Revit

Construction

  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Estimators
  • Civil Site Engineers
  • Intermediate Quantity Surveyors
  • Supervisors and Engineers – particularly for those supervisors and engineers with tunnelling experience demand is high, as is being experienced globally.
  • UFB Supervisors – the UFB rollout across the country has seen high demand supervisors capable of managing multiple crews across multiple locations.

Energy

  • Glove and Barrier Line Mechanics
  • Cable Jointers – due to this trade recently becoming a stand-alone skilled profession in New Zealand the industry has a shortfall of experienced 33kv and above Cable Jointers on the distribution and transmission network.
  • Protection Technicians
  • Lines
  • Substation Engineers – Substation Engineers with local network experience and an understanding of industry standards and regulations are in demand.

Engineering

  • Structural Engineering – these candidates continue to be in demand from mature graduate to senior level. The high level of building assessments and strengthening projects taking place nationally, Christchurch rebuild and ongoing local refurbishment and new build project work across the country has created an even bigger shortage for Structural Engineers. Engineering Consultancies are requesting BEng qualified, preferable within New Zealand based on NZ design codes and local Seismic design awareness is preferred with CPEng qualified being very desirable to sign off on projects.
  • Civil Engineering Design (Transport, Water & Infrastructure) – Civil Engineers with five-plus years experience in design and project management are always in demand.
  • Geotechnical Engineers – Geotechnical Engineers with NZ bachelor degrees and anything from three years experience are always in demand in Wellington. A particular demand for senior Geotechnical engineers with 10+ years experience and NZ CPEng has been seen over the last year, as these are the rarest in the market and almost every consultancy in NZ would be interested in interviewing this type of candidate.
  • Land Surveyors

IT

  • Senior Network Engineer
  • Senior Systems Engineer – a high volume of project-based work lasting between 12-18 months is driving the demand for Senior System Engineer willing to take on contract employment.
  • Database Administrator – particularly within SQL, Database Administrators are in short supply. Solid ETL and report/cube building skills (SSIS, SSRS and SSAS) are in highest demand.
  • SharePoint Developer

Insurance

  • Brokers – these candidates are in demand within the F&G commercial space at the intermediate, senior and management levels across the country both in major cities and in regional areas.
  • Underwriters – there is some recruitment in the F&G space both in regional and main cities as candidates relocate and employers backfill vacancies where staff have moved on.
  • Loss Adjustors and Worker Compensation Officers – Australian companies are advertising in New Zealand for Loss Adjustors, Worker Compensation Officers and Underwriters as they endeavour to attract candidates with excellent training and work ethic, creating a shortage in New Zealand.

Legal

  • Senior Lawyers – candidates with major firm experience who offer a transferable client base are in demand as firms seek to develop their practices again after a holding pattern.
  • Senior Commercial, Property and General Practitioners – candidates with small to medium-sized firm experience are sought.
  • Commercial Solicitors – with solicitors preferring big firm experience or usually working for the larger regional firms there is a shortage of candidates in the commercial space.
  • Banking and Finance Solicitors – employers are in particular looking for candidates with major firm experience.

Property

  • Building Surveyors – with a large volume of continuing work in Christchurch and across the country, demand for skilled Building Surveyors with local experience is high.
  • Quantity Surveyors – similar to the market for Building Surveyors, Quantity Surveyors with local experience are in high demand with the large volumes of work taking place in Christchurch.
  • Intermediate Property Managers

Sales and marketing

  • Category Management, Market Research and Technical Sales
  • Business Development Managers and Sales Managers
  • Digital Marketers, PR and Communications – employers are favouring commercially-orientated candidates, as marketing budgets increase along with the need to demonstrate a measurable return on investment. Capable Digital Marketers are in demand on both the client and agency side.

Trades and labour

  • Excavator Operators/Drain Layers/Asphalt Layers/Drivers – Christchurch
  • Carpenter/Painter/Plasterer/Tiler/Scaffolder – Christchurch

Got the skills and experience New Zealand needs?

Head to Working In New Zealand to search for jobs and employers currently looking overseas to recruit.

Please note: this is intended as a general guide to skill shortages currently being felt throughout New Zealand and do not represent specific job vacancies specifically suitable for overseas candidates.

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