09 June 2008
Pay-packets high, interest rates cut – the skills-shortage in NZ looking more attractive to immigrants
The Hays 2008 Salary Survey and Guide has exposed the high demand for skilled workers in New Zealand, and attractive pay-packets to boot.
The recruiter’s survey covered 11 sectors and several hundred jobs, and included comparisons with the Australian employment market. It concluded that New Zealand is desperate for highly-skilled workers, and are willing to pay for it.
Although Australia pays 25 per cent higher wages on average for the same jobs, New Zealand has highly competitive salaries, and has a head-start on Australia by providing workers with a wider range of experience. "Because of the size of our companies, Kiwi workers are exposed to a wider range of experiences within their chosen field – a quality now recognised by international companies as far away as Dubai, which view New Zealand as an untapped resource for skilled workers," reports the Sunday Star Times.
Tim Bell, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Canterbury University, claims that students at New Zealand universities are being offered jobs even before they leave university. Similar to Australia, the skills shortages are seen in the areas of Information Technology, Law, Accounting and Finance, Construction, and Engineering.
The research conducted by Hays claims the salaries being offered in these sectors are going through the roof, and mid-level skilled workers can earn up to NZD$150,000 (£58,000). The recruiting company claims; a quantity surveyor’s salary is now reaching NZD$120,000, while engineers can receive NZD$110,000. IT developers and business analysts were also hitting the big bucks, with up to NZD$150,000 annual salary.
The New Zealand government, in collaboration with businesses, organisations, industrial groups and unions, have planned a strategy to increase the skill level of those already working. The New Zealand Skills Strategy is designed to improve the workplace productivity, says the New Zealand Herald. It aims to provide the opportunity for workers to develop skills within the working environment, and ensure that tertiary education matches the requirements of industry, so students learn practical, necessary and transferable skills. The Government has allocated $168 million to providing a literary, numerical and language development course to be implemented over the next four years.
Carol Beaumont, Secretary of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) said, “From the NZCTU’s point of view, the skills strategy is important in building the sort of high-wage, high-skill economy we all want.”
New Zealand’s industry may be more than ready for an influx of highly-skilled migrants to fill the job vacancy overload, but what of the infrastructure to support it? According to a media release from the Department of Labour, "the capacity of the building industry appeared to be adequate to meet the level of housing demand to 2016, even under a high immigration scenario, as long as the type of accommodation built changed to meet changed demand."
New Zealand also hosted the World Environment Day last week, which showcased its commitment to sustainable practice and to its world-renowned environment. With house prices down and the New Zealand Reserve Bank announcing this week it is cutting back interest rates, there is no better time to make the move to New Zealand.