Revised Occupations List for NZ Residency and Employment in 2016-17

If your occupation is not included in the list of Essential Skills in Demand (ESD) in New Zealand by December, you would have to wait for another year. Find out what occupations are hot, which ones are not.


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Revised Occupations List for NZ Residency and Employment in 2016-17
Written by Crispin Aranda.
Updated July 13, 2016 | New Zealand

Here today, gone tomorrow.

The results of the annual review are usually published in December with effect in March of the following year. The review is regularly conducted to ensure that the list meets the changing needs of the New Zealand labor market for the immediate and long term period and that New Zealanders get the first chance to take advantage of such changes.

When there is no longer a shortage for certain occupations, they are removed from the ESD.

This is similar to the labor certification process conducted by the Department of Labor in the US and the Labor Market Impact Assessment employers need to comply with in Canada. 

In contrast with the U.S. and Canadian selection process, Australia and New Zealand provide a list of occupations that are in demand both for immediate and long-term needs.

From the review conducted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in December 2015, the following occupations were retained from the Long Term Skills Shortage List

  • Telecommunications Engineer 
  • Telecommunications Network Engineer

Two occupations were removed - Social Worker and Statistician (Fisheries Modeller)

In December 2014, six occupations in the healthcare sector were retained while 20 occupations were removed from the Long Term Skills Shortage List.

Occupations retained in 2014 and remain on the 2015 list are:

  • General Practitioner
  • Physicist (Medical)
  • Registered Nurse (Aged Care)
  • Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)
  • Registered Nurse (Medical)
  • Registered Nurse (Perioperative)
Click here to download the Long-Term Skill Shortage List

Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL)

The ISSL identifies occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers either throughout New Zealand or in certain regions. Migrants wishing to work in occupations on the ISSL may be granted work visas under Essential Skills instructions if they meet the specified qualifications and/or experience requirements.

The published results in December 2015 show that four occupations were added to the ISSL:

  • Glazier (a) 
  • Sheetmetal Trades Worker
  • Metal Fabricator 
  • Surveying or Spatial Science Technician (Building Information Modelling Professional)

For the Auckland and Canterbury regions. Baker was retained but post-qualification work experience required was tightened to two years.

Four occupations in the farming sector were removed and employer have been required to carry out a labor market test to ensure that suitable New Zealanders get first opportunity for these positions:

  • Beef Cattle Farmer (Assistant Herd Manager) 
  • Dairy Cattle Farmer (Assistant Herd Manager)
  • Beef Cattle Farmer (Herd Manager) 
  • Dairy Cattle Farmer (Herd Manager)

Other changes:

Removed: seven occupations in the oil and gas sector for which there is no longer a shortage:

  • Chemical Plant Operator 
  • Occupational Health and Safety Advisor
  • Gas or Petroleum Operator 
  • Production Manager
  • Geologist
  • Safety Inspector
  • Geophysicist and Petrophysicist

Removed for lack of shortage in various sectors were::

  • Accountant
  • Photographer (Medical)
  • Chemist (including Analytical Chemist)
  • Rheumatologist
  • Orthopaedic Surgeon
  • Science Technician (Flat Weaving Specialist/ Technologist)

Recommendations to add Fibrous Plasterer, Panelbeater and Vehicle Painter were declined.

Click here to download the Immediate Skill Shortage List

When changes take effect

The Ministry website explains that the ESID changes “will take effect in the next operational policy release in March 2016, except for the Dairy and Beef Farming occupations which will take effect from 30 May 2016.”

In addition, the requirements that migrants must meet to qualify for work or residence visas are still being reviewed  to include a review of qualifications that should meet the standards set by the New Zealand Qualification Authority.

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

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