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Jobs Report Eng NZ - Jul to Dec 2018


July – December 2018

Hotspots of skills in demand 

Over half (53 per cent) of employers in New Zealand expect to increase permanent staff levels in the next 12 months, exceeding the 8 per cent who say they’ll decrease. According to the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide, 18 per cent also expect to increase their use of temporary and contract staff, exceeding the 11 per cent who anticipate decreasing in this area. Meanwhile, 21 per cent now employ temporary and contract staff on a regular ongoing basis, with another 41 per cent employing them for special projects or workloads.

Given vacancy activity, hotspots of skills in demand are emerging. Vacancy activity differs around the country as follows.

Structural Engineers with proven seismic project experience and strong communication, client facing and team management soft skills are in demand for strengthening, rebuild and new urbanisation and development projects.

Civil Engineers with experience in land development and subdivisions are needed given the ever increasing demand for new houses.

Geometric Designers with a focus on road safety as well as upgrades and new transport projects are sought. A focus on national road projects and upgrades is fuelling demand.

Site and Project Engineers with experience in large-scale transportation infrastructure projects are also in demand. Experienced candidates are required to keep large projects on schedule and then deliver them successfully.

Building Services Engineers, particularly Electrical Engineers, are needed. Employers looks for proven Mechanical and Electrical Engineers in the field of building services who are capable of drafting and design given the number of refurbishments, new builds and renovations in Wellington.

Civil Design Engineers are in demand in Auckland. The identification of new housing regions is creating huge demand for Civil Design Engineers with land development experience and strong Civil 3D and 12D software skills.

Structural Revit Drafters at the intermediate to senior levels are needed. Those with Revit experience are highly sought after given the number of medium to large builds underway across the retail, residential, aged care and commercial sectors. However, for many candidates Revit is still a fairly new software. There is consequently a shortage of candidates with strong Revit skills and experience as well as familiarity and knowledge of New Zealand building codes and processes.

Structural Engineers at the intermediate through to team leader levels are also sought. To be successful, candidates require strong foundational knowledge in seismic structures since there is still a huge amount of repair work underway to ensure buildings reach required standards, as well as numerous medium to large new builds. The residential market adds to demand, particularly new build projects in Auckland.

Land Surveyors and Survey Technicians are needed across the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions in response to an increase in land development projects.

Civil Engineers in land development are sought as regions such as Waikato and Bay of Plenty grow quickly. Large new development plans on the outskirts of Auckland, which incorporate affordable housing builds, are adding to demand.

Stormwater and Three Waters Engineers are required in response to new land developments in Auckland and the continual need to maintain and upgrade existing network systems.

Planners are in increasing demand too. This is a growing sector as a result of new land development and special housing areas across the country. Resource Consent Planners are in most demand.

Transport Planners and Engineers with strong modelling skills are also sought to assist with current and future infrastructure demands. As Auckland grows and new developments are planned, transport systems and roads need to be upgraded to cater to growing populations.

Civil Engineers experienced across multiple sectors are in demand in Christchurch, where a large amount of land development work is underway. Add the updating of water, waste and drainage systems, and demand is high. Candidates require knowledge of Three Waters, transportation and infrastructure. 12D modelling experience is also increasingly required, however there is a shortage of candidates with experience using this software.

Structural Engineers are needed too. There is a high volume of work in both the commercial and residential sectors, but the supply of candidates with local experience fails to meet demand. Seismic engineering is very unique in New Zealand, which is why employers look for candidates with this experience as most of the work lies in this area.

In addition, Intermediate Structural Engineers are sought. While the supply of graduates is high, candidates with several years of New Zealand experience are in short supply.

Land Surveyors are also required. With a small number of Land Surveyors graduating from university each year, and the ongoing movement of graduates overseas where salaries are higher, there is a shortage of candidates.

Qualified Mechanical Engineers with consultancy experience are in short supply, as are Qualified Automotive Engineers (Heavy).

Qualified HVAC or Refrigeration Engineers are also needed, as are qualified Process or Reliability Engineers.

Salary trends

Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of employers will give skilled professionals a pay rise of less than 3 per cent in their next review while 8 per cent will not increase salaries at all. According to the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide, a further 22 per cent will give staff an increase of 3 to 6 per cent. Just 6 per cent will increase by 6 per cent or more.

Employees however have higher expectations for a salary increase. Over two-thirds (69 per cent) say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year. 26 per cent expect an increase of 6 per cent or more. A further 22 per cent expect an increase of between 3 to 6 per cent. At the other end of the scale, 19 per cent do not expect any increase and 33 per cent expect less than 3 per cent.

For more, see our Hays Salary Guide

Jobseeker advice

On your CV, include a summary of key projects you have worked on and your responsibilities for each.

Do not send your CV to every consultancy as the market is small and you will gain a reputation for looking for any opportunity anywhere.

When job searching, consider what factors are non-negotiable and those where you can demonstrate flexibility. This includes salary, benefits, location and responsibilities.

In addition, upskilling has become a constant requirement to remain employable in today’s rapidly changing world of work. After all, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and rapidly gaining ground. Many jobs are being automated via technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things and cloud computing.

Research from management consulting firm McKinsey suggests about 60% of occupations could see at least a third of their job tasks automated. Meanwhile, a report published by Deloitte claims the half-life of learned skills is now about five years.

To find out how to stay relevant and employable in the face of all this rapid change, see our upskilling advice here.