Jobs in skill shortage

Skill shortages happen when employers find it hard to get staff with the right skills for the job. Knowing which jobs are in skill shortage can help you choose the best job option or decide what subjects to study. 

Reasons for skill shortages

Skill shortages can happen because:

  • there aren't enough workers with the right skills available
  • turnover is high because workers are unhappy with pay or working conditions 
  • there is a general labour shortage, such as during low unemployment.

Skill shortages can change due to:

  • changes in technology or the economy
  • skilled workers moving to another country
  • an ageing workforce.

Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists 

When jobs appear on Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists, this means the Government is actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas to work in that role in New Zealand.

Find out what jobs are currently on Immigration New Zealand's long-term, regional, and construction and infrastructure skill shortage lists within the following industries.

Jobs in Construction and Infrastructure

Architecture, Technical Design and Mapping

Geospatial specialists gather and analyse geographic and spatial (location-based) information and use specialist software to present it in user-friendly formats such as maps and 3D models.

Surveyors plan, direct and conduct survey work to determine the position of boundaries, locations, topographic features and built structures.

Survey technicians collect, record, and evaluate geographical information and prepare databases, maps, charts and plans.

Construction

Brick and blocklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks and tiles to construct or repair buildings, walls, arches, chimneys or paved areas.

Building contractors run their own businesses and plan, supervise and work on the construction and alteration of buildings.

Building and construction managers plan, control and co-ordinate civil engineering or building projects, and the resources and people involved.

Building surveyors inspect plans and building constructions to see if buildings are, or will be, built correctly. They may also issue certificates, write reports and help owners and potential buyers with construction problems and solutions.

Carpenters work mainly with wood to repair or install foundations, walls, roofs, windows and doors in buildings.

Electricians test, install, maintain and repair electrical systems and equipment.

Wall and floor tilers lay ceramic, clay, slate, marble and glass tiles.

Flooring installers lay, replace and repair floor coverings such as carpet, linoleum, vinyl and timber.

Glaziers install or replace glass or mirrors in buildings, vehicles or boats and may create decorative glass features.

Joiners use timber and board products to make fittings such as cabinets, doors, window frames and stairs. 

Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers assemble, install and repair pipes, drains and fixtures and fittings that supply water and gas or remove waste.

Plasterers apply plaster or other materials to buildings. They usually specialise in either interior or exterior plastering.

Quantity surveyors manage finances for construction projects. They calculate budgets based on clients' requirements, and prepare detailed estimates to ensure budgets are sufficient for each stage of construction.

Roofers repair or install roofs using materials such as roofing iron, tiles and shingles.

Scaffolders design, construct and remove scaffolding around buildings and other structures such as bridges. 

Stonemasons work with stone to construct or renovate buildings, fittings, walls and paving, or to create monuments.