The increase in Bay of Plenty job vacancies was the biggest in the country last month with almost 13 per cent more listings than at the same time last year - but more and more out-of-towners are snapping up jobs.

Online skilled job vacancies were up 12.8 per cent this August compared to the same time last year in the Bay of Plenty, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said. Vacancies were also up 1.2 per cent on July.

The ministry's Jobs Online report measures the changes in vacancies advertised by businesses on three internet job boards - SEEK, Trade Me and the Education Gazette.

Figures supplied to the Bay of Plenty Times by Trade Me showed a 16 per cent increase in job listings started in August in Tauranga compared to the same time last year but the number was 10 per cent down compared to July.


The total number of new listings made for Tauranga in the year from September 2014 to August 2015 increased by 34 per cent compared to the previous year. In the same period, listings for trades and services increased by 74 per cent, construction and architecture listings by 45 per cent and transport and logistics jobs by 36 per cent.

SEEK was not able to provide data.

1st Call Recruitment managing director Phill van Syp said his staff were "flat tack".

"We're just getting so many jobs we're just finding it's hard to find people. We've got a skill shortage. It's boom times. We've got a huge number of jobs."

The construction industry was particularly busy at the moment, he said.

"We have an extreme trades shortage at the moment and we're looking to import them ourselves. We are the fastest-growing region. There's buildings going up wherever you look. We're importing 50 people. We're finding it's difficult to find general arms and legs let alone skilled people."

Not only was there advertising around the country but in Australia, Dubai and the Philippines, Mr Van Syp said.

Gartshore Group director Jim Gartshore agreed it was hard to find skilled staff in Tauranga.


He had employed two people from Wellington, two from Auckland and three from Christchurch in the last three weeks as well as the odd person from smaller centres including cabinetmaker Rob Wilson, 62, from Whakatane who drove to Tauranga every day to work in the company's Tauriko warehouse.

Mr Gartshore said things were starting to slow in Christchurch so there were skilled builders happy to move to Tauranga.

"We're advertising in the main centres - Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. That's where the interest is coming from. We're getting next to no interest locally for the particular top-end tradesmen that I need."

Scaffold Systems BOP managing director Chris van Schagen said finding skilled tradesmen had been a challenge for about a year.

"For scaffolding it's been a challenge for some time, probably because the industry is growing quite quickly both from compliance and from the increase in building consents. To get guys who have experience or have a certificate in scaffolding is quite a challenge," he said.

"We've actually gone to advertise for a labourer rather than than a certified scaffolder to increase our pool of responses."

Mr Van Schagen said that interest in jobs had been coming from Australia, the Philippines and Singapore.

The Staffroom director, Jill Cachemaille, said she had noticed a big increase in the jobs the company was recruiting for, particularly in office administration and accounts areas.

Ms Cachemaille said busier workloads reflected increased business confidence and the new jobs were the result of existing businesses expanding.

She said the recruitment company had experienced a "massive" influx of Auckland candidates. It was receiving four or five calls a day from people wanting to relocate to the Bay of Plenty.

Ms Cachemaille said there was a skills shortage in the senior-level accounts area and the architectural quantity-survey area.

Nationally, online job vacancies were steady in August, MBIE said. Skilled vacancies decreased by 0.1 per cent and total vacancies increased by 0.3 per cent.