Trade workers flocking to Canterbury

A new report based on Statistics New Zealand figures reveals that trades people have become the leading group of migrants moving to the country’s Canterbury region.

The results mark a shift in the type of immigrants who have moved to the region which was hit by a series of serious earthquake a few years ago, with occupations such as bricklayers, carpenters and joiners now far more in demand than those working in engineering groundwork related occupations.

Statisticians noted demand for engineering professionals had initially increased steadily after earthquakes but by mid-2014 their number had started to stabilise. While the number of bricklayers, carpenters and joiners was slower to grow in the immediate post-quake period, the numbers of these types of workers have risen as the pace of the rebuild increased.

Largely due to the rebuilding projects taking part in the region, Canterbury now bucks the national trend when it comes to the types of migrants it attracts. Nationwide, school teachers top the arrivals table – a trend that had been consistent in Canterbury prior to the earthquakes.  School teachers are now the region’s second biggest occupation group, after trade workers, followed by engineering professionals.

The Statistics New Zealand figures show that the United Kingdom is Canterbury’s largest source of work-visa arrivals, showing significant growth in 2013 and 2014. In 2004 to 2012, people arriving in Canterbury on a work visa from the United Kingdom averaged about 600 a year; by comparison, in 2013 and 2014, arrivals from the United Kingdom averaged about 1,000 a year.

Article published 5th January 2014