Employment opportunities in New Zealand are on the rise again after the Christchurch earthquake in February. Although the number of new job advertisements decreased and hiring slowed down considerably in February, the Manpower Employment Outlook released in June by Manpower New Zealand shows high levels of hiring confidence and an optimistic outlook from New Zealand’s employers, especially in the construction sector. So if you are planning to move to New Zealand and are looking for trade or construction-related jobs, now might be a good time to relocate.
According to the New Zealand Employment Outlook, 26% of all employers are expecting to hire, while only 9% plan to decrease staff levels for the third quarter of 2011. The regional employment outlook for Christchurch looks especially positive, with the highest levels of hiring intentions since Quarter 1 2008. Employers in all seven employment sectors including mining & construction, finance, retail trade, services, transportation and education expect an increase.
The most optimistic sector is mining and construction. As Michelle Visser, General Manager of Manpower New Zealand asserts ‘The survey results show a consistent and extremely strong demand for mining & construction workers, sitting at +42 per cent’. As she goes on to explain, ‘The Christchurch reconstruction project is shaping up to be one of the biggest construction projects that New Zealand has ever seen. As we move from the clean-up to the rebuilding stage, initial reconstruction workers will be in high demand’. Christchurch will definitely be in need of many skilled construction workers, as well as skilled tradespeople and project managers.
While some of these jobs will be opened up to New Zealanders first, there will certainly be a need for international workers as well. Many are calling for a loosening of New Zealand immigration rules and an international campaign to ensure that there are enough skilled workers to rebuild Christchurch. According to a survey conducted by Manpower in 2010, engineers and tradespeople were already in high demand in 2010 before the earthquake, and this demand is bound to increase significantly. The declining trend in the number of permanent visa holders arriving in Christchurch might further contribute to the skills shortage in the city.
The New Zealand Immigration Department announced shortly after the earthquake that it would accept applications for further temporary visas via email from those who’ve been affected by the earthquake, but no other significant changes have been made to visa applications.
If you are interested in moving to New Zealand, you can read more about New Zealand Visas & Immigration. If you’re living in New Zealand as an expatriate and would you like to share your views, just leave us a comment.