20 September 2007

New report says New Zealand skills shortage is here to stay

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The skills shortage is a demographic reality that will continue in the foreseeable future, according to the latest research. New Zealand immigration is the answer to the resulting demand for skilled workers.

Leading social and demographic trends research agency McCrindle Research has released the New Zealand 2008 edition of their report Bridging the Gap: An employers guide to managing and retaining the new generation of workers. It seeks to provide employers with information about managing and retaining the new generation of workers.

The report concludes that New Zealand, like most developed nations, is experiencing a rapidly ageing population. The demographic study shows that the median age of a New Zealander is now 36 and it will be 39 in another decade. The average age of a full-time employee has also been rising and is projected to reach 42 by 2012.

A smaller workforce is also significantly impacting the labour market. Currently 68 per cent of the total population is of working age (15 to 64 years) but by 2021 it will decline to just 50 per cent.

This ageing population will continue because longevity rates are rising and the trend to have fewer children later in life is continuing. Yet the population and the economy are still growing. The result is that the demand for labour is clearly greater than the supply.

"This new reality is here to stay: Don't think that the current skills shortages are just the sign of a growing economy which will settle down when an inevitable slowdown occurs. The skills shortage is not just an economic reality but also a demographic reality. It will be with us for a generation or more regardless of economic cycles."

New Zealand needs skilled workers: Anyone interested in New Zealand immigration should complete the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment to see if they qualify for a New Zealand visa.

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