Latest updates to the Essential Skills in Demand Lists – some exciting additions!

The New Zealand government recognises that there is a significant shortage of skilled labour in a variety of occupation industries in New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has three “Essential Skills in Demand” lists, which make it easier for employers to recruit and employ non-New Zealand citizens and residents for roles which are included on those lists.

INZ has just released updates to the Essential Skills in Demand Lists (ESID), which includes the replacement of the Intermediate Skills Shortage List with a new one called the Regional Skill Shortage List. Where an occupation is on one of the ESIDs, it is an acknowledgement that it is difficult to find suitable New Zealanders to fill those role in those occupations, and therefore the process of recruiting migrant workers has been simplified.

Here is a brief outline of each of the lists, with an explanation of what occupations have been added to or amended on them:


Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL):

The LTSSL is a list of skilled occupation that are in sustained shortage throughout New Zealand. Occupations included in the list include occupation in engineering, ICT, health and social services and electricians.

The outcome of the latest review has been to add ‘Aged Care Registered Nurse’ to the LTSSL, and amend and extend the “Construction Project Manager” listing.


Regional Skills Shortage List (RSSL):

The Regional Skills Shortage List will replace the Intermediate Skills Shortage List, and provides a list of various occupations where there is a skill shortage in a particular regions. The RSSL is divided into 15 regions identified as having an immediate shortage of skilled workers in particular occupations. Early Childhood Teacher, Primary School Teacher and Secondary School Teacher have been added to the RSSL for all regions – great news for people wishing to gain employment as teachers in New Zealand!


Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL):

The CISSL is divided into the same 15 regions as the RSSL, and contains construction-related occupations which are in immediate, short-term shortage across the country. The occupation of Building Associate has been added to the list, and Plumber has now been added to all the listed regions.


The proposed changes will be implemented on 27 May, and come at a time when INZ is facing increasing criticism over extensive delays in visa processing times, which is causing problems for many visa applicants and their employers.

If you believe any of this will affect you and your application, please get in touch with one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers in either the UK or NZ office:

UK Office: +44 (0) 148 355 0920

NZ Office: +64 03 355 1495

Or email