Sharing our expertise


Hotspots of skills in demand

NZIOB 2018

Commercial construction continues to dominate the South Island, with Central Otago becoming a hub of activity during the second part of the financial year. The infrastructure sector remains strong and residential construction is active thanks to increased activity in the retirement village sector.

Vacancy activity differs around the country as follows.

South Island

Commercially experienced professionals including Quantity Surveyors, Estimators and Project Managers are all in high demand across the South Island. Demand is focused on Queenstown and Wanaka where the commercial pre-contractor space is extremely competitive.

Other skills in significant demand include Carpenters and Skilled Tradespeople, who are required across the South Island.


Construction companies in Wellington are predicting stable growth in 2019. Sub-contractors are in high demand given increased residential growth resulting from KiwiBuild. This will put more pressure on the commercial market as demand increases.

Experienced construction professionals are highly sought after. Project Managers, Site Managers and Estimators are in greatest demand due to the sheer volume of demolition and earthquake strengthening work underway.

Senior Quantity Surveyors with estimation experience are sought too in response to a strong project pipeline in Wellington.

Civil Project Managers with experience working on the tools are needed. The Transmission Gully project has added to vacancy activity, with various main and sub-contractors requiring these candidates.


Auckland’s construction sector remains active thanks to the continuation or commencement of new commercial builds. Cranes dominate the Auckland skyline, particularly in the CBD, with major projects including Commercial Bay and the Convention Centre. Major developments in the Wynyard Quarter precinct are adding to demand. With the America’s Cup set to be held in Auckland in 2020, the market will remain active.

The residential market is buoyant and primarily driven by a significant housing shortage in Auckland. KiwiBuild, new apartments and the aged care sector are all contributing to growth.

The Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions remain active thanks to population growth and regional investment.

There are construction skill shortages in these areas at all levels.

Jobseeker advice

Construction jobseekers should develop your soft skills, especially communication, presentation and relationship management. With clients now more involved in the development of their projects, such skills are crucial to maintaining an organisation’s values and reputation in the market.

It is also advisable to develop your management skills if you want to move off the tools.

On your CV, include the name, type and value of each project you worked on. Also mention if the project was completed on time and on budget. Then use bullet points to provide details of your key responsibilities.

When applying for jobs, be prepared to provide at least two references of people you have reported to.

Consider upskilling. A report claims the half-life of learned skills is now about five years. Regardless of your role or level of seniority, it is therefore essential to continuously upskill in order to stay relevant in an increasingly mechanised world. Here’s 7 ways to upskill and keep yourself at the growing edge of your career without breaking the bank.