Thinking about a new life in a new city in 2020? Then Auckland might just have everything you’re looking for when it comes to great career prospects and a quality lifestyle. New Zealand’s largest city is growing rapidly, and its population continues to rise. There are plenty of career opportunities for skilled migrants in the construction and infrastructure sectors, in a cosmopolitan city complete with beautiful beaches and stunning scenery.  

Auckland is situated on New Zealand’s North Island. Its population is set to increase from 1.65 million residents in 2018 to over 2 million by 2031. Employment growth is expected in most industries, with notable acceleration in the construction sector.  

A recent study by public policy consultants Martin Jenkins suggests that over the next ten years, the construction sector is expected to grow by 70 per cent (approximately 56,000 jobs), far exceeding the 24,000 jobs created in the last decade. The challenge the sector faces is a skills shortage, which is why construction companies throughout the city are looking for highly skilled offshore talent to fill the gaps.  

Auckland – under construction 

Construction site filled with cranes with Auckland’s Sky Tower in the background.

From the centre of the city to as far as the eye can see, Auckland’s skyline is changing with new developments – buildings, apartments, houses and offices – being built. It’s not just the construction sector that is seeing remarkable growth. Infrastructure projects are in progress all over Tāmaki Makaurau to ensure New Zealand’s largest city will cope with population growth.   

An expansive regeneration project in the city’s south is gathering momentum as Auckland Airport undergoes an extensive upgrade. In 2014, Auckland Airport announced its 30-year vision to build the airport of the future. The organisation is investing more than $1 million every working day in aeronautical infrastructure to accommodate 40 million passengers and 260,000 flights by 2040. 

Meanwhile, along the city’s waterfront, construction work is well underway in preparation for the 36th America’s Cup in 2021.  

It’s an exciting time to be involved in the construction sector with so many regeneration programmes, large transformations and new builds across both residential and commercial projects. 

What’s it like to work in construction in New Zealand? 

Men talking on a construction site wearing hard hats and hi vis.

New Zealand construction companies greatly value the migrant workforce, so no matter how long you stay, you can expect to have the support you need to enjoy living and working in Auckland. New Zealanders are notoriously friendly, and you’ll be welcomed with open arms. 

Once you start work, you may find that the New Zealand construction workplace has some differences to what you’re used to in your home country. Health and safety is a huge priority and you can learn more at the Worksafe website. You might also want to look at how building professionals and practitioners are regulated. 

Will my construction qualifications be recognised in New Zealand? 

Before you start job hunting, you’ll want to check that your overseas qualifications are recognised in New Zealand. This may mean that you require some extra training or need to gain further qualifications.  

New Zealand Immigration states that, “All overseas qualifications need to meet the definition of a qualification on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) to be assessed and recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). This requires an International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) from NZQA.”  

Find out more information via Recognition of overseas qualifications | NZQA and International Qualifications Assessment | NZQA 

Visas, professional registration and the skills shortage 

If you are serious about moving to Auckland, the next step is to look into your visa options. It’s a good idea to get started by registering with the relevant professional or trades body listed on the Immigration New Zealand website, as you may need to sign up before you can apply for a visa to work in that occupation in New Zealand.  

There are various visa options that you could be eligible to apply for. A work visa is for a temporary stay (but some can also lead to residency) and a resident visa will allow you to stay in New Zealand indefinitely. Read more about visa types

If your job, qualifications and experience are on the skills shortage list, you may be eligible for a resident visa right away. Check the New Zealand Immigration skill shortage list checker to find out if your job is listed. 

Specific roles in demand include quantity surveyors, project managers and civil engineers. You can view some of the top construction jobs in Auckland on our job board

Making the move is easy 

If you’re still wondering whether Auckland is the right city for you, take a look at this short film, which features former UK resident David Pattinson. He made the smart move to Auckland to work for McConnell Dowell as a Project Manager on the America’s Cup project.  

Your new life awaits, and we can’t wait to welcome you. 

Auckland is looking for top talent

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