The importance to New Zealanders and migrants alike of matching training to skill shortage areas
The well-trod pathway of coming to New Zealand to study, followed by work and then residence has been much maligned recently, as the Government continues to tweak its study-to-work policy settings and to clamp down on poor-quality education providers. For both New Zealanders and migrants alike, the changed and changing nature of the labour market serves to highlight the continued importance of matching training to skill shortage areas.
Many of our young people will have been advised that the occupations they will end up in have not yet been invented. However, a closer look at New Zealand’s list of skill shortages shows that particular skills have been in shortage here for over a decade, and suggests these will continue to be in demand for some time yet because of their importance to our future wellbeing. The situation is also mirrored in other comparable countries where the same types of skills are also in long-term shortage.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) compiles three skill shortage lists, based partly on suggestions from employers and trade unions. These are:
As its name suggests, the Long Term list includes occupations that have a sustained and ongoing shortage of skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand. The Immediate list includes occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers either throughout New Zealand or in certain regions
MBIE reviews the Long Term and Immediate lists every year, while the Canterbury list is reviewed more frequently given the need to resource the rebuild effort in that region. Absolute skills shortages of particular note include:
Our experience has found that people with training in these areas are far more likely to be unaffected by changes in the labour market and to immigration settings. Moreover, migrants with these skill-sets are actually more likely to benefit from tweaks to the immigration system as the Government attempts to entice them to remain in New Zealand, rather than see them take those sought-after skills offshore. The Minister of Immigration has expressly indicated that the quality of training courses will be a particular focus for the Government in the near future and this is where Wakefields expects to see further changes.
If you would like to discuss options for study and work in skill-shortage areas and ideas for future-proofing your career, don’t hesitate to contact us at Wakefields on 04 970 3600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org