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Kiwi employers struggle to fill 50 percent of vacancies, ManpowerGroup says

Tuesday 29th May 2012

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New Zealand employers struggled to fill about 50 percent of job vacancies in 2011, with a squeeze on engineers, skilled trade workers and sales representatives, according to ManpowerGroup's latest talent shortage survey.

Kiwi employers having difficult filling key positions increased 11 percentage points to 48 percent last year. That's well above the global average of 34 percent and Asia-Pacific's average of 45 percent. Japanese employers experienced the most difficulty on 81 percent, while Chinese employers had a much higher success rate on 23 percent.

“With fields such as engineering, IT and skilled trades set to boom in the coming years, encouraging local uptake into these industries should be a top focus for policy makers, educators and employers,” Lincoln Crawley, managing director of ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand said in a statement. “The (Christchurch) rebuild is going to put a huge amount of pressure on the local labour market, with the estimated need for workers outstripping the available local talent pool."

Canterbury has outpaced Auckland to gain the top spot in year on year growth, according to the National Bank's regional trends survey for the March quarter. The region experienced at 4.7 percent increase in employment for the quarter, while the number of residential building consents rose 34 percent, according to data from Statistics New Zealand. The ANZ's regional job advertisements series for the region hit a record high, up 24 percent in the December quarter.

“Employers who continue to struggle with skills shortages may need to review their job criteria and look for a ‘teachable fit’ – that is, candidates who meet most criteria but need further training in other areas; or consider “unbundling” job roles so that highly skilled employees only undertake technical tasks," Crawley said.

Employees with skills in IT, accounting and finance, cooking and communication also remain in high demand, the survey said.

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