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Skills in demand 2024

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Knowing what skills will be in highest demand for the year ahead can help employers and employees alike prepare. For business leaders, advanced knowledge of the skills that will be in short supply can help you design strategies for attraction and retention and inform internal training efforts to ensure teams can be upskilled appropriately. For employees, this list can help guide future career ambitions and learning plans.   

We update this list yearly in line with the latest recruitment trends to ensure you can navigate the market changes to remain competitive – whether you’re looking for a new job opportunity or to increase your workforce.

The factors driving demand   

In 2023, the skills market remained incredibly tight, with 88 per cent of employers experiencing a skills shortage, and 40 per cent saying that it had intensified. This spurred businesses to move toward skills-based hiring models to widen their talent networks to secure the skills they need.

Meanwhile, an uncompetitive salary has become the top reason for employees switching jobs, instigated by a volatile economic climate, interest rate increases and high inflation that have seen the cost of living soar. On the employer side, the employee market remains tight with the unemployment rate at 3.9 per cent and net migration has fallen by a further 4.76 per cent since last year. Additionally, increased investment into cyber security has not only had an impact on the technology industry, but others as well.  

Top skills in demand

We’ve examined job market trends across the industries and sectors we recruit within. Below are the top five most in-demand skills that companies need nationally. These are the skills that are in strongest demand relative to supply. We’ve focused on job titles to reveal the specific hard or technical skills at the top of the supply and demand imbalance. If you’re interested in the top soft skills in demand, we have also complied the seven job ready soft skills you need today.  


Accounting professionals are still highly sought after, particularly in the intermediate range of two to 10 years’ experience. Talent can be difficult to source in this bracket as there has been a steady decline in people undertaking a degree in accounting. Technical Financial Accountants and Management Accountants with experience also remain in demand. The key skill needed in this sector is strong corporate reporting skills. 

Check out Accounting roles here.  

Trades and Labour

The volume of new projects means that Trade and Labour will continue to be in high demand, particularly across construction-based projects. This trend is likely to continue with net migration still declining, and the high demand for housing in major cities.   

Check out Trades and Labour jobs here.

Cyber Insurance Specialists

The cyber security industry in general continues to show strong growth and in particular the cyber insurance market is demonstrating a strong surge. More specialised underwriting agencies are focusing on this market, with workers who have direct experience in policy writing highly sought after. Claims and Incident response workers are in demand as well –with the threat of cyber breaches becoming ubiquitous, expert claims teams need to be in place to respond to threats proactively.

Take a look at Cyber Security jobs here.  


From Civil to Electrical and Grid – engineering roles are still in high demand. With both federal and state governments continuing to focus on infrastructure building hiring demand is high right across the nation. While skilled migration will help, it can be incredibly difficult for overseas-trained Engineers to get their licence accredited overseas. This can slow the transition of the skills into the New Zealand market. A continued focus on decarbonisation

Other skills in demand


The continued volatility in the economy means that many businesses are placing increased emphasis on sales growth. This is showing up in the demand for sales roles, such as Business Development Managers, Account Managers, Sales Representatives and Sales Engineers, with experience in using systems such as Salesforce highly desirable. 

Look at Sales roles here.  

Office Support 

Office support roles continue to see high demand across all sectors, well after the influx of roles after offices reopened. Executive Assistants are the most highly sought after, with experienced and highly skilled workers not staying on the job market for long.

See available Office Support jobs here.  

Communication Specialists

If someone has corporate communications experience, they tend not to stay on the market for very long. The sheer volume of work available means there are shortages present, and Communications Specialists are snapped up quickly.

Check out Communication Specialist roles here.  

Project Managers

Project Managers continue to see demand across industries, the shortage being a direct reflection of the volume and complexity of projects being undertaken by organisations. As businesses continue to roll out projects to capitalise on economic opportunities, adapt to changes in the regulatory environment, and embed agility or new technology into their operations, Project Managers lead change and transformation programs and guide a project’s output. We are seeing specific demand for Project Managers in Facilities Management with a background in Architecture, and Fitout Project Managers in the Construction space.

Check out Project Manager roles here.  

Revit Drafters and Project Architects

In the Architecture space, Revit Drafters are experiencing increased demand to provide support in the drafting of detailed construction plans. Employees in this role need to be well-versed in programs such as Revit MEP, AutoCAD and more. Project Architects are also sought-after, helping to oversee the design and construction of a project through an architectural lens.

See available Revit Drafter roles here.

Infrastructure Sustainability Advisor 

The spotlight is shining on the environmental and sustainability impacts of infrastructure projects, meaning there has been an increased demand for Infrastructure Sustainability Advisors to help identify methods of improving sustainability outcomes for infrastructure projects.

Check out Infrastructure Sustainability Advisor roles here.   

Sustainable Buildings Engineer 

To meet the growing demand of net-zero carbon projects, as well as implement life-cycle assessments and green building accreditations, Sustainable Buildings Engineers have seen increased demand for their services.  

See Sustainable Buildings Engineer roles here.  

Contact Centre Workers

Experienced Customer Service Representatives in Contact Centres are still sought after. Often being the first point of contact between an organisation and their customers, they are integral in building customer retention through dealing with queries effectively and with great communication skills.  

See Customer Service Representative jobs here

Forklift Operations

Demand is high for Forklift Operators to move bulk materials and goods in the warehouse and logistics sector. Ongoing labour shortages will keep job opportunities high for the foreseeable future.  

Check out Forklift Operator jobs here.

Ticketed Crane Operators 

Manufacturing and distribution companies face a shortage of trained, ticketed and skilled Crane Operators with a truck license. Candidates with these skills are essential to load and unload stock for delivery.  

See Crane Operator jobs here.  

Truck Drivers

A shortage of experienced, licenced Truck Drivers exists nationally, from medium rigid licence through to heavy combination. Truck Drivers are sought for a range of roles, including multi-drop deliveries and longer haul. An exemplary driving history and reliability are essential.  

Check out Truck Driver jobs here.  

Advice for employers

The skills shortage will start to ease, but it’s going to be a gradual process that will take time. So consider these actions.  

  • Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a key tool in attraction and retaining the talent you need. Employee values have shifted towards progression and education, with training the main benefit that employees now value. But your employee experience is also key to making your employees happier and more productive. Developing an excellent EX not only helps workers become more productive, but it will help you win the battle for highly skilled talent in an environment that is pitting you against the largest companies in the world. 
  • With flexible working being a big draw card, businesses should consider their spaces and their processes to ensure teams can work effectively in this new environment. Additionally, thought needs to be given to your office space and how it can become a place that employees want to be in, instead of one that a required to attend. 
  • Download our Find The Right Fit report to uncover new strategies in finding those hard-to-find skills your organisation needs to gain the competitive edge.  

Advice for employees

While there is still a skills shortage happening, it is starting to ease, and the economic headwinds are starting to feel blustery. If you’re thinking about your career trajectory, consider: 

  • What are your long-term career ambitions? While making quick moves to take advantage of higher remuneration can be tempting, consider if the move will help you achieve what you want. Before making any big moves, take a step back and reflect on your long-term goals and how this move could help or hinder your ability to achieve them.

  • Improving your capabilities and what you can offer employers will help you stay on top. Work is changing at an increasingly rapid pace, so keep your technical skills sharp by adopting a continuous learning attitude and actively seek out skills to add to your repertoire. 

  • Don’t forget your soft skill development. When the market is tight, employers are accepting of the fact that they may need to do some on-the-job training if a potential employee demonstrates strength in their soft skills.