Covid 19 coronavirus: The top jobs to emerge from the pandemic

New job shoots of growth

Health: There’s a special nod to nursing as the top pick for MoneyHub founder Christopher Walsh.

“There is an absolute shortage of nurses, you get to help people and it’s a job where you can move around,” Walsh said.

“Quite often doctors get stuck at one practice or hospital but there are more opportunities for nurses.”

The leap into healthcare can be made without the competition of medical school and the six-year training commitment and associated costs.

It is a long-term career with other options later such as specialist care or even appearance medicine. “You can also retrain later and get into another area such as midwifery and with that there is the option to run your own business,” Walsh said.

Dairy: Agriculture – and dairy in particular – has been recognised as pivotal to the country’s economic recovery in a world with Covid-19.

There are jobs available across New Zealand’s entire rural sector with more than 750 advertised in dairy alone.

Jane Muir from Dairy NZ said the demand was high because not enough people were looking to work in rural areas.

“Working on a farm may not be for everyone. It’s more remote, there are early starts and it’s outdoor work year-round.

“However, there are tremendous benefits in working on dairy farms including working with animals, great people, and technology.”

Muir said dairy farm wages were the best in agriculture with entry level positions at $48,000 per annum, rising to $60,000-$62,000 for herd and assistant manager positions, and $78,000 for farm managers.

“There are excellent opportunities for career advancement in the dairy sector including roles in research, science, policy and rural professional roles.”

Muir said there had been a large number of people pivoting towards dairy after Covid-19 job losses.

Dairy NZ went on a recruitment drive after Covid hit and provided on-the-job training for a variety of roles – this is expected to continue this year.

“Many career changers have skills that are valued and useful on dairy farms such as a great attitude, reliability and a willingness to learn,” Muir said.

E commerce roles: This year will see further demand for web-designers, IT technicians, digital marketing and workers with technical skills.

Sarah White from Tribe Recruitment said Covid-19 and the move to digital had put a huge demand on the tech workforce.

White said companies had prioritised their digital transformation and this increased demand for people skilled in product, development and engineering.

Katherine Swan from Randstad said the tech sector was crying out for skilled workers. She added that short courses and on-job learning were better options than traditional qualifications.

“Employers should be looking to upskill the staff they have through mentoring, short, targeted courses and training,” she said.

MoneyHub founder Christopher Walsh said returning New Zealanders had revived some of the demand in the tech industry but there would still be a skills shortage and plenty of roles to fill.

“Everything has gone digital this year and this will carry on indefinitely,” Walsh said.

“There is a real opportunity for those in the tech sector to upskill and grab opportunities and for companies to upskill their workforce to meet the demand.”

Online learning and edtech:

With schools and educational facilities thrown into lockdown, education technology became a global phenomenon.

Bob Drummond, from Kiwi digital classroom app Kami, said digital learning went through huge growth creating demand for software engineers, digital marketers and data scientists.

Kami was continuing to hire with millions of people worldwide now using the app.

“It’s a digital transformation, so it’ll be the usual STEM careers – the software engineers, digital marketers, data scientists that we hire. As well as a need for digital native teachers, of course, there will also be new education jobs that don’t exist yet,” Drummond said.

Transport and logistics: The flow-on effect from the growth in e-commerce with everything from grocery shopping to gifts going online meant more demand for transport and logistics.

Katherine Swan from Randstad said the pandemic, lockdown and working from home had changed people’s online behaviour.

“People are more aware of what services are online and what can be delivered to them,” Swan said.

“A lot of people who previously shopped traditionally are now doing their shopping online which leads to growth in different areas such as transport.”

Creative tech: Gaming, creative tech and film have the potential to be New Zealand’s top industry says Aliesha Staples from Staples VR.

“When 5G becomes more successful there is going to be huge growth in creative tech and the Government has started to realise this,” Staples said.

“Trying things out, developing systems and developing staff is easy in New Zealand.”

She says people from industries such as travel and agriculture that have been disrupted by Covid should be looking at creative technology.

“The skills they have can be pushed across,” she said.

“The film industry is crying out for production assistants, runners, and assistant directors – they have the same skills as executive assistants in other industries.”

Engineering and Construction – Jobs in engineering would grow in 2021, MoneyHub founder Christopher Walsh.said.

Fulton Hogan was booming and there are large and small scale developments and infrastructure planned.

“Fulton Hogan and its growth is the litmus test and then we have the second Harbour Crossing, the City Rail Link and in Wellington Transmission Gully,” Walsh said.

“There are so many projects going on, and some of these are huge. These all create jobs right across the board.”

Trades – Builders, plumbers and electricians are doing well and will be in demand in 2021, Walsh said.

House prices have continued to climb and are out of reach for many.

“This means a lot of people will renovate rather than sell,” Walsh said.

The biggest draw card was the ability to own your own business.

“You have to be professional and know how to run your own business but if you do it right the opportunities are endless.”

Call centre and customer support: E-commerce growth and people working from home has added to the growth of contact centre roles.

Lidya Paljk from Tribe Recruitment said there was a marked growth in utilities and telecommunication roles.

Paljk said there was a big lift in demand for call-centre staff as a result of growth in eCommerce.

Swan said the growth of online services accounted for a lot of the demand.

AA Insurance (AAI) had employed 177 additional staff this year to cope with demand and were hiring more in the new year.

Small Business and the side hustle: Last year saw huge growth in the side hustle and it’s expected to keep going in 2021.

Walsh said people were buying locally so there was money to be made in selling products and services within New Zealand.

“People making money online is a big thing. They might be [doing] UberEats or discover a gap in the market for anything from baby products to homemade candles.”

Facebook meant people could communicate with their market without spending a lot on advertising, and overheads could be kept down.

“My biggest advice to someone starting a side hustle is to keep it small, do your research, test the waters and go from there.”

How to reinvent yourself and pivot to a new industry

Covid-19 has led to unexpected growth for some industries but left others decimated.

Those working in the aviation, travel and tourism industries saw massive change overnight with the future not yet certain.

Career and CV specialist Tom O’Neil said people in tourism and hospitality had strong transferable skills that shouldn’t be underestimated.

“With strong skills in relationship management, customer service, administration, retail and sales, it is very easy for people in these industries to pivot into a new allied industry successfully,” O’Neil said.

“Being genuinely good with people and having a high level of emotional intelligence is also a major aspect of supervisors and management.”

O’Neil said team leaders in tourism and hospitality industries could quickly re-brand and learn a new industry while they work.

That was the case for former Flight Centre travel agent David Sollis.

The 31-year-old had been working for the travel company for four years when Covid hit.

“When I finished at Flight Centre I was applying for 16-20 jobs each day and it was quite overwhelming,” Sollis said.

“You start second-guessing your skills and there were a lot of jobs I didn’t think I had the skills for, I was getting to the point [where] I felt a bit helpless.”

Sollis eventually applied for a job in customer service with insurance company AAI and was offered a short-term role.

“I had no experience with insurance and I had no idea what I was getting myself in for,” Sollis said.

“I just thought if I had the opportunity, I could show them what I was capable of.”

Sollis excelled in the role and realised the communication skills that were so important in travel transferred perfectly to insurance.

“Customer service is being able to speak to lots of people from other backgrounds and it’s an underestimated skill,” Sollis said.

“A lot of people might not think their people skills are sought after but they make a huge difference to businesses and not everyone has these skills.”

As well as communication skills, Sollis said workers from travel and tourism were adaptable, quick thinkers who often had to problem solve.

“There is also other stuff such as accounts, legal knowledge and logistics that are common in travel but also transfer to other industries.”

Sollis said the uncertainty in the travel and hospitality industry would eventually pass but he was happy with his more certain future.

“There is going to be a great future in travel again one day but for me I am happy with this move and feel I have a lot to give this industry.

“I see myself trying to progress further in the insurance industry and I am being given the right training to help with this – I am very happy to see where this takes me.”

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