Health and IT jobs have emerged as the Bay of Plenty industries with the biggest increase in job advertisements during the year. Bay of Plenty Times reporter Jean Bell dives into the latest data and speaks to recruitment agencies, business figures and a business on the hunt for an IT grad.
What do nurses and software engineers have in common?
The professions are among the industries with the biggest jump in job advertisements during 2019, according to new government data.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's latest Jobs Online report shows IT and healthcare were the industries with the biggest jump in Bay of Plenty job advertisements during the year. Advertisements for IT increased by 19.1 per cent while healthcare increased by 19.6 per cent.
• More listings, more competition for Tauranga Jobs
• Surge in jobs hits business growth as Tauranga worker shortage bites
• More listings, more competition for Rotorua jobs
• Bay of Plenty online job vacancies increase, Tauranga agencies experience 'biggest year ever'
The data showed an overall 1.3 per cent increase in job advertisements in the Bay of Plenty during the year, despite a 0.4 per cent fall in the quarter ending September 2019.
According to a ministry spokesperson, advertisements repeated in successive months were not counted but new adverts were counted if they were reposted after a break.
1st Call Recruitment managing director Phill Van Syp said IT and healthcare were "prime industries" and the need for workers would not slow down any time soon.
Van Syp said the demand for IT staff was driven by an ever-growing market for technology-savvy people to both create their own internal software and external outputs.
"Every company has an app or a website. No matter what you do, you want a presence on the internet."
Bay cricket tournament to become annual fixture
'Healthy' pod of orcas frolick near Tauranga
Glass half empty? Landfills are with new recycling scheme
However, finding people with the right skills could be a challenge and there were vacancies across the board due to the low unemployment rate.
"Nothing is easy - there are areas that are easier, but we're struggling across the board for people. Even labourers can be hard to find. We can get work for anyone who is good that walks in the door."
Accent Health Recruitment founder and co-owner Prudence Thomson said vacancies for skilled medical specialists and nurses could not be filled fast enough so staff were being recruited from overseas.
Thomson, who has been recruiting medical staff into the Bay of Plenty and around the country for more than 20 years, was recently in Singapore recruiting staff and would also interview in the United Kingdom and America.
She said there were always seasonal fluxes but a steadily increased demand had emerged in mental health, emergency and critical care.
This demand was driven by New Zealand's ageing population, positive net migration, mental health needs, and medical and technological developments that kept patients alive longer.
"Twenty years ago, babies were born and died. Now they stay alive and they need medical treatment throughout their life."
Medcall Bay of Plenty regional manager Shirley West said the "huge growth" in retirement villages and facilities contributed to the healthcare job advertisement increase.
West, who hired temp workers, said nurses and caregivers were always in demand as it was a challenge to find people with the right qualifications and sufficient experience.
"[Temp staff] have to be able to walk into a new workplace environment, orientate themselves and hit the ground running."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said the increase in IT jobs was "great news" and indicated local businesses were becoming more tech-conscious.
He said most sectors struggled to fill specialist fields and, while Tauranga offered a good lifestyle, many businesses struggled to match salaries offered by competing overseas companies.
Priority One chief operating officer Greg Simmonds said a tight labour market was a key growth constraint for local businesses, both in the long and short-term.
Simmonds said 40,000 new jobs were projected to be created in the local economy between now and 2048 so it was important that young people were trained and educated to fill these future positions while attracting talent to fill gaps in the meantime.
YUDU editor Kirsty Wynn said there were more than 1300 healthcare jobs listed on the website with about 330 IT jobs listed.
A Metlifecare spokesperson said there had been a good response to recruitment drives ahead of the opening of the new care homes in The Avenues and Pāpāmoa.
The spokesperson said it could be a challenge to fill registered nurse positions and there were currently three permanent vacancies across the five villages in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui for caregivers and registered nurses.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment manager for workforce and workplace Rose Ryan said the relationship between job advertisements and labour demand was complex.
An increase in job advertisements might indicate expansion or a high turnover of workers while a decline could signal reduced employment in an industry or that the industry was using alternatives to online advertisements, such as word of mouth.
The Bay of Plenty Times approached the Bay of Plenty District Health Board regarding the high number of healthcare vacancies in the Bay, but a spokesman said the board was unable to comment before publication.
On the hunt
NZWindows is one Tauranga business in the process of hiring a graduate software and application developer.
Group services support and systems development manager Chris Newton said the business was expanding and hiring a new graduate was "future-proofing" the business' IT platform.
He said about 35 people had applied for the role and the business was currently sorting through a shortlist. Most of the applicants were from outside of the Bay of Plenty and the role even attracted some overseas interest.
He had expected the role to be easy to fill and to receive quality applications for the role. It was important for the new employee to have the necessary skill set while still being able to fit into the team.
"It's a fine mix," he said.
Hottest industries: job advertisement annual changes in the Bay of Plenty
Healthcare - 19.6 per cent increase
IT - 19.1 per cent increase
Sales - 8.4 per cent
Manufacturing - 9.5 per cent
Construction - 3.8 per cent
Primary industries - 3.6 per cent
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment