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Trades & Labour

Jobs Report T&L 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. Demand will be high for skilled and competent Registered Electricians since building services work remains steady. However, as the amount of work increases the supply of skilled labour falls. This has resulted in a major skills shortage. With few people undertaking apprenticeships, this shortage will continue.

In addition, commercial projects are increasing in size and demand more Electricians than the current market can supply. As the electrical market continues to grow, the mechanical market is impacted in turn, with installations for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning increasing.

The demand for Registered Plumbers also fails to be met by supply. Projects are running behind schedule as a result and the workforce is extremely stretched.

Carpenters and Roofers are both required for residential and commercial construction projects. In particular, given residential housing, apartment and high-rise projects, as well as earthquake repairs in some parts of the country, there is an inordinate amount of work for qualified Carpenters.

Civil Machine Operators and Drainlayers are sought for underground work on new infrastructure. Meanwhile, Civil Machine Operators are also sought to prepare land for subdivisions, new roads, new cycle ways and the upkeep of existing roads.

Excavator Drivers and Heavy Vehicle Drivers are also needed. Transmission Gully is absorbing a huge number of these candidates, leaving a shortage for other projects.

Skilled Crane Operators are needed in the civil market, as are Dogmen to work alongside them.

Diesel Mechanics are required too, although they are in extremely short supply.

Finally, Labourers are in demand across all trades. As the market for skilled labour increases, the need for semi-skilled Trades Assistants, Hammerhands and General Labourers continues to grow. Electricians, Plumbers, Builders and Carpenters all need semi-skilled support. With the number of projects increasing, the demand for semi-skilled labour will continue to grow. 

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

Upskilling has become a constant requirement to remain employable in today’s rapidly changing world of work. 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.