farm_road
Where does the primary sector source its talent?
Introduction

Talent attraction is an important issue for all sectors. There is a growing trend of persons moving careers at late stages in life. We have found from other research that primary sectors need to replace between 10 – 15% of their workforce each year as workers retire, leave for training, switch careers, or move overseas. Not only does a sector need to attract enough talent to replace those who leave but also attract enough talent to meet the capability needs of growth within their sector.

In this report we provide insights into where select New Zealand sectors have historically sourced their new talent from. We find that career changers make a more significant contribution to new talent that previously understood.

The following report tracks the outcomes of new entrants within their new sector.

Number of new entrants

We define new entrants as workers who first work full-time within a sector for at least three months of a year.

In the below chart we present the absolute number of new entrants into the sectors we track finding that these volumes of new entrants is closely tied to economic conditions each sector faces.

For instance, the intake of new entrants peaked in 2007 for the construction industry but plummeted over the global financial crisis due to the resulting construction lull. On the other hand the dairy farming sector saw growth in new entrants in 2008 while dairy payouts remained high, however as the payout fell in the 2008/09 season so did the number of new entrants. A similar shock in new entrants is seen in 2015 as payouts fell over the 2014/15 season.

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Methodology

A new entrant is classified as an individual who first starts working (earning income in IRD records) within a given sector (defined through employer ANZSIC 2006 codes). We take new entrants in the sectors we follow between the years of 2007 and 2017.

Within IRD data there is no available information on the number of hours worked, only income at a monthly level. Because of this, we only consider an employee to be employed in a given month if they earn more than the equivalent of 0.5 FTE (80 hours) on the minimum wage. Thus for 2007 (minimum wage of $11.25) only months with income over $900 count as employed.

Talent pools

There are many different pools of talent a sector can target to attract into their industry. The most common target of these talent attraction programs are secondary school students. However, we find career changers make up 45% of all new entrants across the sectors we track while secondary school leavers only contribute to 7% of new entrants.

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Methodology

New entrants are categorised into the following groups based on any education enrolments in the year leading up to starting work, or work experience in the past five years. They are categorised in a ranked hierarchy of:

  1. Secondary school leaver (enrolled within one year of starting work)
  2. Tertiary graduate (enrolled within one year of starting work)
  3. Career changer (at least one year of work experience within any other sector)
  4. Immigrant (first arrived in New Zealand within one year)
  5. Beneficiary (history of beneficiary income)
  6. Returning Kiwi (return date to New Zealand within one year)
  7. Others and unknowns

Such that a new entrant recently enrolled in tertiary education with more than one year of work experience is classified as a tertiary graduate as opposed to a career changer.

The source of talent new entrants are sourced from hasn't not changed significantly across all sectors we track. Within some sectors there are noticeable trends, such as the rise in migrant workers in the dairy farming sector.

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Methodology

A new entrant is classified as an individual who first starts working (earning income in IRD records) within a given sector (defined through employer ANZSIC 2006 codes). We take new entrants in the sectors we follow between the years of 2007 and 2017, and categorise them into source groups using the following hierarchy:

  1. Secondary leaver (enrolled within one year of starting work)
  2. Tertiary graduate (enrolled within one year of starting work)
  3. Career changer (at least one year of work experience within any other sector)
  4. Immigrant (first arrived in New Zealand within one year)
  5. Beneficiary (history of beneficiary income)
  6. Returning kiwi (return date to New Zealand within one year)
  7. Others and unknowns

Such that a new entrant recently enrolled in tertiary education with more than one year of work experience is classified as a tertiary graduate as opposed to a career changer.