Bay's job market stellar

By Nathalie Dixon

JOBS: Tradestaff northern operations manager Grant Kedian says qualified tradespeople are being snapped up by Bay employers within hours of being interviewed.
JOBS: Tradestaff northern operations manager Grant Kedian says qualified tradespeople are being snapped up by Bay employers within hours of being interviewed.

The Bay has been named New Zealand's hot spot for jobs, with new figures revealing the region has double the amount of new positions compared with the national average.

Job sites Trade Me and Seek have released figures which show the Bay of Plenty has seen a rise of 33 per cent in advertised jobs during the past 12 months, compared with a national average of just 16 per cent.

More than 6000 jobs have been advertised in the past 12 months and around 80 per cent are fulltime, up 41 per cent on 2012, according to Trade Me.

Seek New Zealand's general manager Janet Faulding described the Bay of Plenty's job market as the "stand-out performer this year".

"While other regions in the country have performed well, we are delighted to see this region, which hasn't had the easiest time over the last two years, shine," she said.

The Eastern Bay Link and booming building industry have contributed to the surge in new jobs, with the construction sector experiencing a year-on-year growth of 59 per cent in the number of jobs advertised, Ms Faulding said.

Bay recruitment agencies have revealed skilled tradies are so short on the ground employers are snapping them up just hours after they are interviewed.

Tradestaff northern operations manager Grant Kedian said the company had recorded a significant increase in the number of employers seeking staff over the past few months.

"This has largely been focused in the trades sector with qualified tradespeople proving increasingly difficult to find.

"In Tauranga qualified builders in particular are being snapped up within hours of being interviewed and reference-checked."

There is high demand for engineering and construction personnel in the Bay of Plenty, driven by new housing developments and subdivisions, says Stephen Smith, director HarperSmith Global Recruitment Ltd.

Mr Smith said the Bay of Plenty has become a desirable place to live with its mild climate and proximity to Auckland, the region's population has grown by 4 per cent, and these people need places to live and work.

Hospitality and Tourism are also adding to the Bay's economic strength with a variety of events such as the Bay of Plenty Airshow and the State New Zealand Ocean Swim attracting visitors to the region.

Job prospects within the sector had more than doubled, with greatest demand for chefs, front-of-house staff and hotel managers.

The top three highest number of job opportunities were in the trade and services industry with 73 jobs advertised in November, followed by 70 jobs in the healthcare and medical sector, and 56 in the manufacturing, transport and logistics sector.

"Many businesses are feeling confident about the prospects for the local economy, and this optimism is reflected in the demand for new staff,"said Phill Van Syp, managing director of 1st Call Recruitment agency.

Ms Faulding said a number of large hotel chains such as Novotel, Sudima and Millennium Hotels & Resorts were recruiting for staff.

"While there always tends to be seasonal peaks in hospitality and tourism roles this growth when measured year-on-year still points to strong, sustained growth," she said.

There has also been a surge in the number of job applications in the Bay, with an increase of 17 per cent year-on-year, suggesting the lure of all the Bay has to offer may be "too hard to resist".

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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