New entrants in the trades by source

We take new workers in trade sectors from IRD records are link them through to other sources to figure out what they were doing in the year leading up to starting work.

While the absolute number of new entrants have fluctuated the breakdown of where these new entrants has not changed too significantly, apart from the rise in migrant workers which coincides with the rise in Asian workers.

Download data


New entrants are defined as persons who first work at least three months above a minimum wage threshold of 120 hours (30 hours across 4 weeks). Of these new entrants we define their primary activity in the year leading up to starting work order of:

  1. Secondary school enrollments
  2. Tertiary enrollments
  3. Work in other sectors (career changers)
  4. Visa status (migrants)
  5. Overseas spells (returning kiwis)
  6. Beneficiaries
  7. Other

Such that a person with a tertiary enrollment and who is working in another sector in the year leading up to starting work in carpentry will be recorded once only as a tertiary student.


Access to the anonymised data used in this study was provided by Statistics New Zealand in accordance with security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975, and secrecy provisions of the Tax Administration Act 1994. The findings are not Official Statistics. The results in this paper are the work of the authors, not Statistics NZ, and have been confidentialised to protect individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations from identification. Read our full disclaimer here.


Where do apprentices arrive from?

Only 12% of apprentices start training the year after finishing secondary school.


Where does the trades sector source its talent?

Investigate the talent pools that the trades source its new workers from

New entrants Source of new entrants Talent attraction