Jobs in skill shortage and labour shortage

Skill shortages happen when employers find it hard to get staff with the right skills for the job. Knowing which jobs are in can help you choose the best job option or decide what subjects to study.

Jobs in skill shortage and labour shortage can change quickly if economic conditions change.

Find out more by looking at job advertisements and talking to employers in areas you'd like to work in.

Reasons for skill and labour shortages

Shortages can happen because:

  • there aren't enough workers with the right skills available
  • turnover is high because workers are unhappy with pay or working conditions 
  • there is a general labour shortage, such as during low unemployment.

Shortages can change due to:

  • changes in technology or the economy
  • skilled workers moving to another country
  • people leaving the workforce.

Immigration New Zealand's Green List and Sector Agreements show skills and labour gaps

Immigration New Zealand's Green List and Sector Agreements aim to make it easier for employers to fill genuine skills gaps by recruiting overseas workers.

These lists can also give you an idea of which jobs are in skill shortage or labour shortage:

  • the Green list makes it easier for employers to attract migrants into skilled, highly paid and care workforce occupations. 
  • the sector agreements are a temporary measure to  make it easier for employers to attract migrants to fill lower- paid roles, with Accredited Employer Work Visas.

Immigration New Zealand's previous skill shortage lists can indicate jobs in demand

Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists showed that the Government was actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas to work in particular roles in New Zealand.

The skill shortage lists were last updated in 2019. They aren't being updated, but they can give an indication of jobs that are likely to be in demand.

Find out more about jobs that were on Immigration New Zealand's long-term, regional, and construction and infrastructure skill shortage lists within the following industries. Note that this does not include jobs on the Green List which were previously  not on a skill shortage list. 

Jobs in Farming, Fishing, Forestry and Mining

Agriculture and Horticulture

Arborists plant and remove trees, prune branches and treat disease.

Beekeepers look after beehives in apiaries that produce honey, wax, pollen and other bee products. They may also offer pollination services to horticultural and seed crop producers.


Crop farmers/managers plan and manage plant production on farms and in vineyards and hothouses.

Dairy farmers plan and manage milk production by cows, maintain pasture and monitor environmental impacts on farms.

Farmers/farm managers manage and work on farms. Farmers own or lease the land, while farm managers operate farms for farm owners.

Dairy farm managers manage farming operations and staff for dairy farm owners.

Sharemilkers either milk a dairy farmer's cows for a profit share, or own a herd of cows and milk them on an owner's land for a profit share.

Viticulturists grow and harvest grapes from grapevines, and manage vineyards.