16 Jul 2012

Employers complain of skills shortage

4:08 pm on 16 July 2012

Research suggests job seekers in Auckland don't have the skills that employers want.

The Committee for Auckland surveyed more than 50 businesses and found numerous skill shortages, including in engineering, information technology, food science and sales and marketing.

Its report warns of a gross discrepancy between the skills sought by businesses and those held by job candidates and says the results apply to all of New Zealand.

It cites a range of factors, including school leavers who don't know what skills the workforce requires, and immigrants with good skills, but no relevant New Zealand experience.

The study also found that all of the businesses that took part were concerned at a lack of social skills displayed by jobseekers, such as self-discipline, conscientiousness and ability to co-operate.

The Employers & Manufacturers Association says a lot of young people present themselves without basic communication skills.

Chief executive Kim Campbell says it could come down to spending too much time in front of video games.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly says it's not young people's fault as there simply are not enough jobs available.