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Regional migration of trades workers
Key findings

Past migration patterns by trades workers within New Zealand can outline areas of strengths and weaknesses with attracting workers into certain regions. More trade workers are leaving the main city centres, such as Auckland and Wellington, than there are entering. Smaller regions, such as Northland, have proved successful in attracting more trade workers into their region with a net increase. Overall, 87% of trade workers did not move between 2013 and 2018.

Introduction

Some regions within New Zealand need more trade workers. The migration of trade workers within New Zealand provides insight into regions that may require incentives to encourage trade workers to move there. It may also outline whether past incentives were successful or not. This report compares the location of trades workers in 2013 with where those individuals ended up in 2018, regardless of whether they are still working in the sector.

Census flows

From trade workers identified in the census, we compare their location from the census in 2013 with the census in 2018 to track their migration. Overall, only 6% of workers moved to a new region and a further 5% left New Zealand altogether. This is consistent among all industries with between 85% and 93% staying in the same region between censuses.

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Methodology

Trades workers are taken from the census.

Their 'origin' region is based on where the address where the worker answered the census.

Their 'destination' region is derived from primary region found in the address notification table in 2018. The address notification table summarizes all addresses reported to government agencies, e.g. if you visit the hospital and update your address while there this address will pass through Ministry of Health records through to StatsNZ and be recorded in the address notification table.

Migration by employment status

Of those that migrated between 2013 and 2018, the chart below breaks the data into group based on their employment status. It can be seen whether the individual moved within New Zealand or left overseas. Of the individual tradespersons that migrated, an employee is almost just as likely to move overseas as they are to move within New Zealand. Whereas, for an individual that is self-employed, they are more likely to migrate within New Zealand than to move overseas. This trend is noticed across all the regions.

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Methodology

Trades workers are taken from the census.

Their 'origin' region is based on where the address where the worker answered the census.

Their 'destination' region is derived from primary region found in the address notification table in 2018. The address notification table summarizes all addresses reported to government agencies, e.g. if you visit the hospital and update your address while there this address will pass through Ministry of Health records through to StatsNZ and be recorded in the address notification table.

Migration by age

The chart below shows the age distribution of those that migrated between 2013 and 2018. Note that this may be affected by the age make-up of the New Zealand population, however, it can be concluded that younger individuals were more likely than older individuals to leave their region between 2013 and 2018. In the under 30 age group, more individuals left New Zealand than migrated within the country. The older age groups had a higher proportion of their migrants stay within New Zealand.

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Methodology

Trades workers are taken from the census.

Their 'origin' region is based on where the address where the worker answered the census.

Their 'destination' region is derived from primary region found in the address notification table in 2018. The address notification table summarizes all addresses reported to government agencies, e.g. if you visit the hospital and update your address while there this address will pass through Ministry of Health records through to StatsNZ and be recorded in the address notification table.

Regional inflows and outflows

The chart below shows flows in and out of a region between 2013 and 2018. The main centres, Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury generally had more trade workers flow out than in. However, this chart does not consider those moving from overseas into a region. In addition, the individual that left a region between 2013 and 2018 may no longer be working in a trade industry in 2018. Smaller regions, such as Northland, benefited most from regional movement with a net increase in tradespeople.

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Methodology

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Where do apprentices end up?

Most apprentices retain in their respective industries after completing training, with many progressing into self-employment