Skills Gap and Immigration in New Zealand

New Zealand is facing a skills gap, with some industries struggling to find enough workers. Immigration can help to fill this gap by bringing in skilled workers from overseas.
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Last Updated On April 27, 2023
Contributors: Denise Renshaw. Edited By Yongtian Liu & Reviewed by Simar Singh.

New Zealand is a country that is highly dependent on skilled immigrants to fill the gaps in the local workforce. The country has been experiencing a skills shortage for several years, and this gap is expected to widen in the coming years. In this blog post, we will explore the skills gap and immigration in New Zealand, discussing the challenges, opportunities, and policies surrounding these issues.

What is the Skills Gap?

The skills gap refers to the mismatch between the skills that employers need and the skills that the available workforce possesses. In New Zealand, the skills gap has been identified as a significant challenge, with many industries struggling to find qualified workers.

Why is there a Skills Gap in New Zealand?

The skills gap in New Zealand can be attributed to several factors, including an aging population, a low birth rate, and a shortage of skilled workers in specific industries. In addition, the rapid pace of technological change has also contributed to the skills gap, with many workers lacking the necessary skills to adapt to new technologies and work processes.

Immigration in New Zealand

Immigration has played a significant role in addressing the skills gap in New Zealand. Skilled immigrants have been essential in filling the gaps in industries such as healthcare, construction, and IT. In recent years, the government has made efforts to attract skilled immigrants to the country through various policies and initiatives.

Challenges Faced by Immigrants in New Zealand

While immigration has helped to address the skills gap, immigrants face several challenges in New Zealand. These include language barriers, cultural differences, and difficulties in finding employment. The lack of recognition of qualifications and experience gained overseas is also a significant challenge for immigrants.

Opportunities for Immigrants in New Zealand

Despite the challenges, there are many opportunities for immigrants in New Zealand. The country has a high demand for skilled workers, and immigrants with the necessary qualifications and experience are often in high demand. In addition, New Zealand has a welcoming culture and offers many opportunities for immigrants to integrate and succeed.

Policies and Initiatives

The New Zealand government has implemented several policies and initiatives to attract and retain skilled immigrants. These include the Skilled Migrant Category, which allows skilled workers to apply for residency, and the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa, which allows employers to recruit skilled workers from overseas. The government has also invested in initiatives such as the Migrant Skills Recognition and Job Matching Service, which helps immigrants find suitable employment in their fields.


The skills gap and immigration are significant issues in New Zealand, with challenges and opportunities for the country. While the skills gap presents challenges for employers and the economy, immigration offers a solution to address this gap. Immigrants face challenges, but they also have many opportunities to succeed in New Zealand. With continued efforts from the government and employers, New Zealand can continue to attract and retain skilled immigrants to fill the gaps in the local workforce.