High school students
Tracking school leavers regional destinations and engagement with the construction sector
Key findings

Faced with labour shortages the construction sector vie with other sectors over school leavers as a source of talent to meet the growing demand for skilled workers. Understanding the destinations and current engagement levels of school levels with the sector will inform future strategies in attracting this talent into the sector.

10 years after finishing school, 60% of individuals remain living in the region they attended school in. Of those that left their home region, half are overseas, and the other half moved to another region within New Zealand. We discovered that individuals from smaller regions are more likely to move within New Zealand, potentially seeking greater employment and educational opportunities in other regions.

Across New Zealand, 24% of male school leavers have at some point engaged with the construction sector within 10 years of finishing school, however, for women, the proportion is much lower at 4%. This demonstrates an underutilised demographic for construction workers in New Zealand. Regionally, we found that Canterbury had one of the highest proportions of school leavers engaging in the construction industry. This could likely be due to the construction boom in the region following the 2011 earthquakes.

Introduction

School leavers often leave their home region to seek new opportunities. This is often in the form of tertiary education and employment. When looking specifically at construction sector engagement, it is useful to understand what regions have historically been successful in encouraging school leavers into this sector, and in what regions they find that employment. This can provide insight into methods in increasing the number of construction workers in general and in specific regions. In this report, school leavers are tracked by their regional movements and engagement with construction employment and training.

Migration of school leavers

The chart below displays summarized migration patterns of school leavers. In the four years after completing school there is a rise in inter-regional movements, nationally reaching a steady point of 20% of individuals living in a different region within New Zealand. Regionally, those who attended high school within smaller regions, such as Marlborough or the Bay of Plenty, are more likely to leave for other regions. This is possibly due to greater employment and education opportunities in larger regions.

Auckland school leavers are the least likely to leave their region. However, as individuals hit their late twenties, the likelihood of them leaving Auckland increases. This could possibly be due to the high housing prices driving them into more affordable regions.

Overseas migration shows a more gradual increase. The proportion of school leavers that moved overseas reaches 22% after 10 years.

Click the Insights button on the bottom right of the chart to see the points made above visually.

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Methodology

We take domestic school leavers from Ministry of Education records and link them through to the Address Notification table, managed by StatsNZ, and Overseas Spells table managed by MBIE.

Each subsequent year we track the regional council each school leaver is reported spending the most time residing within.

To be considered overseas they must spend at least 6 months out of the country in that year.

Read more about the geographic data in the IDI here.

Destination region

This chart breaks down the regional destinations of school leavers. We observe that regional migrations are more than likely to be to neighbouring regions, or big centres such as Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury. For example, 13% of school leavers from the Tasman region move to Nelson, a neighbouring region. While 24% move into one of the three main centres listed above.

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Methodology

We take domestic school leavers from Ministry of Education records and link them through to the Address Notification table, managed by StatsNZ, and Overseas Spells table managed by MBIE.

Each subsequent year we track the regional council each school leaver is reported spending the most time residing within.

To be considered overseas they must spend at least 6 months out of the country in that year.

Read more about the geographic data in the IDI here.

Construction employment

This chart demonstrates the proportion of school leavers that engage with the construction industry. Within 10 years of finishing school, 14% of individuals will have had some level of employment within the construction industry, with over half of these still having active jobs in 2018. The West Coast and Canterbury show the highest proportion of school leavers that transition into construction, while Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne have the lowest transition rate.

When breaking it down by gender, a large imbalance can be observed. Of the school leavers, only 4% of women will go into construction while 24% of men will.

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Methodology

We take domestic school leavers from Ministry of Education records and link them to IRD taxation records, and businesses from taxation records subsequently to the Business Register.

Each year after leaving school we track whether school leavers are employed by a business with an ANZSIC06 code matching a construction industry.

We require individuals to be employed full time (a monthly income greater than the minimum wage * 40 hours * 4 weeks) for at least three months.

Construction training

This chart breaks down school leavers that went on to participate in tertiary training relating to construction. Within 10 years of completing school, over 10% of all school leavers had some form of construction education. Of those with some experience in construction education, 60% has completed their training, 10% were still enrolled and the remaining 30% had withdrew.

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Methodology

We take domestic school leavers from Ministry of Education records and link them to MoE tertiary training records.

Each year following leaving school we track enrollments and completions in construction related tertiary training.

Construction tertiary training is defined any training with a NZSCED code of "0403 Building", "0309 Civil Engineering" and "0313 Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Technology". See here for more detail on NZSCED codes.

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Tracking destinations of SIT and OP graduates

Investigate the regional and construction sector destinations of SIT and OP graduates

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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

School leavers Destinations workforce supply Secondary to workforce otago workforce supply Secondary to tertiary