Six months in, no sign of skilled migration slowing down

Published: Thu 10 May 2018 04:32 PM
Six months in, no sign of skilled migration slowing down
With the Government planning to deliver 100,000 KiwiBuild homes by 2028 and fix Auckland’s transport pressure points with a newly announced $28 billion plan, it comes as no surprise that New Zealand needs to import the skills required to do the job.
And it seems leading employers across the country are embracing the interest that global talent has in New Zealand right now.
At a time when industry organisations are warning the nation 50,000 workers are needed over the next four years to keep up with the burgeoning construction industry, skilled migration provides solution for many New Zealand construction and engineering firms who are struggling to keep up with growing demands.
“The sector is screaming out for people who can hit the ground running,” said David Kelly, CEO of the Registered Master Builders Association, “ideally companies would like to recruit locally, but if they can’t it’s a no brainer for some to look offshore particularly when the skills and training system here is trying to adjust to meet this demand.”
Thirty private companies found success with the international talent procurement programme, LookSee Build New Zealand. Auckland Transport, Downer, Harrison Grierson and Naylor Love are some of the New Zealand companies that have united together for the recruitment drive to meet their labour requirements.
“Our involvement with the LookSee campaign has been an invaluable opportunity to connect with highly skilled, experienced, quality candidates within the Transportation and Road Infrastructure sectors, from all over the world,” said Rochelle White, Recruitment Consultant from Auckland Transport, “the LookSee campaign also gave us the opportunity to improve our employment brand internationally.”
Over 15,000 off-shore candidates are registered with the programme, including a professional who played a key role in the 1km-high Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, set to be the world’s tallest building once complete. Other top applicants’ experiences include senior roles for Macau’s luxury resort, the Wynn Palace, Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, London Underground’s renewal and the Shard in London.
Damian Sainsbury, LookSee Managing Director says, “In spite of overall migration slowing, that is not the case for skilled workers, with new visas in the skilled categories tracking at greater than 10% ahead of last year.”
LookSee Build NZ, run by recruitment firm HainesAttract and supported by the Government through Immigration New Zealand, recognises nationwide collaboration is required to find the top talent the industry needs, and delivers the perfect platform and programme to do just that.
The one-of-a-kind initiative launched in October 2017, enticing skilled construction and engineering professionals to New Zealand for interviews and a quintessential Kiwi experience. These ranged from black water rafting in the Waitomo caves to wine-tasting on Waiheke Island. Candidates that got a job through the programme had their airfares repaid.
Fifty candidates flew into Auckland in February for the event, named LookSee Build NZ Week. Now, more than half of these candidates have landed jobs with New Zealand employers.
LookSee Build NZ is set to host another event week in July 2018, this time focusing on supporting the diversity agenda by targeting women in construction and engineering.
More information about the recruitment campaign can be found at

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