The government has listed a range of engineering and scientific disciplines as being in demand for the short and long term, ranging from mechanical and electrical engineers to quality assurance and food technologists.
This means the manufacturing sector will continue to consider qualified candidates from offshore as they struggle to meet demand domestically.
A government report states New Zealand needs to produce at least 500 more engineering graduates by 2017 to begin to create a pipeline of talent moving forward, and employers continue to cite the acquisition of qualified talent as being even more important to their business than cost-minimisation.
The jury is still out as to whether a locally trained graduate is as appealing as an international candidate with a higher level of tertiary study combined with experience in world-class facilities overseas.
What is certain thought, is that with the manufacturing sector in rapid growth mode, the staff required to make and test product will continue to be highly sought-after.
Manufacturing is the largest economic sector in New Zealand and contributed 14.6% to the country’s GDP in 2012, which makes manufacturing more important to our economy than in Australia. By mid-2013 there were 191,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector, making it the fourth largest employer in New Zealand.