British construction workers drawn to NZ

An increasing number of British construction workers are moving to New Zealand, new figures show.

According to official NZ government figures, 129 permanent residence visas were approved for Brits with skills in construction trades in the year to 30th June 2015 – 13 per cent more than in the same period the previous year and more than double the number awarded the year before that.

The NZ government say that construction workers from the UK and Ireland lead the way when it comes to moving to New Zealand and that employment growth and demand was strongest for highly-skilled occupations, including engineers, surveyors and project managers.

The majority of British construction workers currently settle in and around the Christchurch area. Jobs there are plentiful as the city rebuilds following a series of destructive earthquakes in the early part of this decade.

It’s not only construction-based occupations which are in demand in NZ. The country’s latest Labour Market Report shows that employment increased by 0.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, and 3.3 per cent over the year, as the economy continues to strengthen.

And according to Greg Forsythe, Immigration New Zealand’s national manager for marketing, settlement, protection and attractions, skilled immigrants are very much in demand there: “Although the increasing jobs coming on the market are offered first to New Zealand residents there are many opportunities for overseas applicants looking to make New Zealand their home,” he said.