builder2
Experience of the trades workforce
Key findings

Experience level can be a useful measure of the skilfulness of a workforce. This study explored the trade-off of a faster increase in trade workers on the average experience of the workforce. From 2011 there has been an increase in the rate at which new workers were joining the trade workforce, and this has shown to have decreased the average experience level. The self-employment rates and average experience of employers have not been affected by this influx.

Introduction

Experience of a workforce can provide insight into their skill level. This is measured in how many years a worker has in the industry. Experience level changes with the dynamics of the workforce size. A trade-off exists between the rate at which a workforce size increases and the average experience level of that workforce. This study explores New Zealand trades workforce to outline the effects of a changing workforce on experience level.

Snapshot

The tax data for 2018 is incomplete so when looking at a snapshot of the experience of the trades workforce it is more accurate to look at 2017. The entire workforce in 2017 had an average experience level of 5.3 years. For those that were self-employed, they had an average of 6.7 years’ experience while employees had 4.7 years’ experience on average.

Download data

Methodology

From workers found in IRD tax records who work at least three months in a year we determine the experience these workers have had in their sector in the 10 years prior to their work date.

For self-employed workers we can usually only see income on a yearly basis, thus employment defined in 12 month blocks meaning few are found with 0 years (0 - 11 months) experience.

Note that self-employed tax records are not complete yet for 2018.

Over time

The total number of trade workers has been increasing since 2011. This has been caused by an increasing number of individuals entering the trades workforce each year. There has been a 36% increase in employees with over 9 years’ experience. Despite this, the influx of new employees each year with no experience has increased by 75% which has caused the average experience of employees in the workforce to drop from 4.9 years to 4.6 years. The total number of self-employed workers has sustained over the years with a constant average level of experience.

Download data

Methodology

From workers found in IRD tax records who work at least three months in a year we determine the experience these workers have had in their sector in the 10 years prior to their work date.

For self-employed workers we can usually only see income on a yearly basis, thus employment defined in 12 month blocks meaning few are found with 0 years (0 - 11 months) experience.

Note that self-employed tax records are not complete for 2018.