The impact of Covid-19 has seen a massive increase in enquiries and enrolments for job training - with real estate one of the biggest spikes.

The Skills Organisation, which offers training in traditional trades, real estate, business and finance, reported a 578 percent increase in people enquiring about its real estate sales programme.

Training organisation Competenz also reported double the amount of traffic to its site after the Budget allocated $1.6 billion to the Trades and Apprenticeships Training fund.

The increase to The Skills Organisation was recorded from Jan/Feb 2020 to Mar/Apr 2020.


This was followed in April by a 33 percent increase in enrolments to the New Zealand Certificate in Salesperson Programme compared to April 2019.

Applicants described themselves as 'out of work, or facing the prospect of having no job' and wanted to 'retrain quickly'.

They wanted to know how soon they could start once training was completed.

CEO Garry Fissenden said most of the enrolments were from people who had worked in the tourism industry.

He believed the appeal of the real estate course was it took a maximum of six months to complete and study could be done out of hours and online so didn't interfere with other employment.

"What we are seeing is that people are looking to start retraining quickly but they are also interested in training they can do alongside their primary career."

Reasons for enrolment

* Workdays/hours had been cut down so looking to subsidise their income


* Wanted flexible career

* Business had closed - eg restaurant, bar, travel agent

* Recently been made redundant

* Previously worked at airport, travel agent, flight attendant

* They wanted to come back to the industry

* Had recently relocated back to NZ


* Travel overseas has stopped so they could no longer go on their OE

* All were wanting immediate asap start

Most enquiries to The Skills Organisation were from parts of New Zealand with a strong tourism and hospitality focus.

Queenstown, Tauranga, and Hamilton recorded a large increase in applicants compared to previous years.

Between Jan/Feb and Mar/Apr this year, Hamilton saw a 1362 percent increase in web traffic and Tauranga had a 1122 percent increase.

Recent real estate graduate Patrick McAteer was working in the film industry before he enrolled to study real estate.


He said the influx of enrolments could be explained by the flexibility real estate offered and that a lot of New Zealanders had a fascination with property.

"I have only been working in real estate for a year and I always have people from a range of industries telling me they are thinking of real estate."

He said it was easy to get a job at the end of study but anyone wanting to make fast money would be disappointed.

"The risk to an employer is quite low because you are a contractor so getting a job isn't the hard part," he said.

"You can make a lot of money in real estate but it takes time and relies on you developing relationships and building your profile," he said.

Fiona Kingsford, CEO of training organisation Competenz, said there was a 46 percent increase in page views to the Competenz website since the recent Budget news.


"This tells us employers and learners are hungry to know more about the opportunities in trades training."

She said since the Budget announcement of $1.6 billion allocated to trades and apprenticeships training there was a marked increase in interest from employers across the 37 sectors, particularly engineering and manufacturing.