Tauranga is in the midst of a perfect storm as industries across the board struggle to find skilled workers, despite strong interest from overseas and New Zealand to the city.

Recruitment agencies claim it is hard to fill some positions, with one saying there is a gap in the market between those seeking work and the jobs available.

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said the organisation was contacted by about 35 people a month wanting to move to Tauranga and enquiring about jobs. Half those enquiries were from overseas and returning expats.

The organisation was working with 726 active job seekers as part of its Wish You Were Working Here talent attraction campaign and had 6507 social media followers.


IT professionals are in high demand, as are software developers, she says.

''The lifestyle is definitely the most compelling reason people want to move to Tauranga. While we still lag behind Auckland and Wellington in terms of salaries, increasingly businesses are realising that if they want to recruit and retain people with skills they need to pay competitive rates.''

Kirsty Morrison, of One21 Recruitment, said a lot of clients were sourcing staff offshore, especially for boat building, carpentry and trade jobs.

''It's a shame as the balance between the candidates out there looking for work and the jobs we need to fill is a bit of a mismatch.''

She had 66 applicants for an office administration role but spray painting, engineering and quantity surveyor roles have proved hard to fill.

1st Call Recruitment managing director Phill van Syp said the agency was ''extremely busy and flat tack at the moment''.

The shortage was across the board he said and it was seeking qualified people in IT and civil engineering.

The director of Rotorua and Tauranga based recruitment agency Talent ID, Kellie Hamlett, said it was a candidates' market.


''It is busy, and there are people out there, but they have a lot of options because the labour force is quite slim in the skills category. They are getting snapped up quickly or may have multiple offers on the table so it's a fast-paced recruitment market at present, for sure.''

Tauranga deputy mayor Kelvin Clout said it was well known booming sectors such construction, horticulture, specialised manufacturing and logistics were in need of skilled workers.

With growth came challenges and he said we ''are living with the reality of increased traffic congestion and housing price pressures''.

''Council is well aware of that and of course, a lot of our time and energy is spent trying to accommodate that growth in terms of infrastructure and forward planning for the next 20 to 30 years.

''Overall, I am extremely pleased that Tauranga is in that position of growth and attraction and I have no doubt it will continue for many years to come.''

The Bay of Plenty is the fourth-busiest region in the country in terms of jobs on offer, according to employment website yudu.co.nz, behind only Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury.

Healthcare jobs have jostled with openings in the trades and services industry to top the listings, in recent months and make up nearly a third of the jobs currently offered in the region.

Trades and services industry workers are in demand to work on the major residential and commercial construction projects underway to cope with the swelling population. This demand is also being matched by job seekers applying for jobs on offer.

A constant theme in the job market this year has been worker shortages in just about every industry, said YUDU spokeswoman Kirsty Cardy.

This was a factor that also led to greater worker mobility, she said.

YUDU job site reported last week that a lack of professional English was a stumbling block for many migrants. But those moving into jobs from a different town could also find it challenging, Cardy said.

Out-of-towners lacked the contacts and inside knowledge essential when job hunting – and that information could take a long time to build up, she said.

Job hunting tips
* Use online resources and company websites when looking for a job in another city to find out about potential employees but also about real estate prices and schools.

* Save the best job listings - some employers will take them down when they think they have enough applicants.

* Whether you are a Kiwi or from outside of New Zealand, make sure your CV is well written and free of errors. Some employers will throw away CVs simply because of grammar mistakes. - Source: Yudu

Skilled and loving it here

Jaco Kapp, from South Africa is living his dream and is a senior accountant at the Engine Room Chartered Accountants in Tauranga. Photo/Andrew Warner.
Jaco Kapp, from South Africa is living his dream and is a senior accountant at the Engine Room Chartered Accountants in Tauranga. Photo/Andrew Warner.

Jaco Kapp is living his dream.

Born and bred in South Africa, he moved to Tauranga earlier this year with wife Bronwyn and two-year-old son Griffin and says ''we absolutely love this place''.

The former semi-professional surfer has found the perfect work and lifestyle mix that allows him time on the waves after hours at the office.

Kapp is a senior accountant at the Engine Room CA and says it is the perfect combination as he wants to further his career in the industry without sacrificing his passion for surfing.

He has been exploring the breaks in the Bay, surfing at Mount Maunganui, and will head to Raglan later this month before getting into competition mode.

Kapp says Tauranga is a lovely city with many activities for families.

The only adjustment has been the weather.

''We lived in Ballito, a small town on the east coast of South Africa, and the weather was substantially warmer there. But we could not be happier with the choice we made, everyone has been so friendly and gone out of their way to make us feel welcome.''