The New Zealand (NZ) government is encouraging skilled Australian workers, particularly those in construction sectors, to relocate and help fill the emerging skills gaps in a number of its industries as a booming economy creates 50,000 new jobs in the next two years.

With the country set to undertake a number of large infrastructure projects, it is expected that construction jobs will grow in demand, particularly in Christchurch as the rebuild continues.

In addition, Auckland is set to see an additional 32,000 jobs established in construction and infrastructure occupations, as well as across the wider economy by 2018.

“Our economy is thriving and some of our companies are growing at a very fast rate. They need skilled and experienced employees to continue building on successes to date,” says Nigel Bickle from New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

As part of this effort to attract Australians, the NZ government held its first ever official NZ job fair in Sydney from 29-30 November at Sydney Town Hall.

The Job Expo, which was run by MBIE in conjunction with WorkingIn, hosted more than 35 NZ companies. Some employers, such as Dominion Construction, held walk-in interviews and made on-the-spot job offers to suitable candidates.

NZ has a strong need for:

  • Carpenters and Joiners
  • Painting Trades Workers
  • Concreters
  • Plasterers
  • Bricklayers and Stonemasons
  • Wall and Floor Tilers
  • Building and Plumbing Labourers
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Roof Tilers

In addition, the sector has identified that the following occupations are in shortage:

  • Drainlayers
  • Civil Supervisors/Superintendents
  • Excavation Operators
  • Project Engineers / Managers (Horizontal and Vertical)
  • Quality Assurance Specialists and Estimators (Horizontal and Vertical)

Most Australian permanent residents can live and work in New Zealand without a visa.