Essential Skills in Demands Lists

You may know the term “Skill Shortage List”. There are 3 different lists. The Essential Skills in Demands Lists is the overarching term for those 3 lists. Every year they go through a review. Industry bodies make submissions and they provide reasons to include an occupation on one of the lists. Immigration New Zealand reviews these submissions and decides if they’ll add the occupation or not. They also look at occupations that are already on the lists and decide if they can stay on the list.

Currently, there are 3 Essential Skills in Demand Lists:

  • Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)
  • Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL) – replaced the Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL)
  • Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL) – replaces the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) from 27 May 2019

Usually, the review of these lists is ready in February or March each year. The delay this year is probably because of the introduction of a new list and a new regions structure.

Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL)

The RSSL replaces the ISSL from 27 May. This change from Immediate to a more regional focussed list is positive. There is now the possibility to include an occupation that is only in demand in one or two regions. In the past, this occupation would not be listed as the shortage wasn’t great enough in the whole of New Zealand.

The RSSL includes the same occupations as his predecessor. Some occupations were on both the ISSL and the CISSL. They are now only listed on the Construction and Infrastructure list. However, only if the qualification and work experience requirements on the CISSL are the same or more lenient. Construction Project Manager no longer is on the RSSL. It still is present on the LTSSL.

The occupations of Early Childhood (Pre-primary school) Teacher, Primary School Teacher and Secondary School Teacher are added to the list.

The shortage in Café/Restaurant Manager, Fitter (General), and Wood Machinist is apparently not great enough. The submissions to add those occupations were unsuccessful.

New Zealand divided in15 regions

For the benefit of the lists, New Zealand consists of 15 regions (was 6). For each occupation listed, the region or regions were the shortage exist is mentioned.

The new region structure now used for all 3 lists: the Regional,  the Construction and Infrastructure (CISSL) and the Long Term Shortage List (LTSSL).

Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List

An addition to the CISSL is Building Associate for all regions.

The requirements for some occupations on the CISSL change:

  • a Plumber shortage applies for all regions, and
  • there is no shortage in Stonemasons in the Canterbury region anymore but still in Auckland and Northland.

Long Term Skill Shortage List

On the LTSSL Registered Nurse (Aged Care) is a new addition.

All other occupations remain on the list.

The requirements for some occupations on the LTSSL change:

  • The existing listing of ‘Construction Project Manager (Roading and Infrastructure)’ now also includes Building Construction
  • For ICT occupations, specific level 7 and 8 New Zealand qualifications that meet requirements are listed.  So that applicants are clear whether their qualifications meet the standard of the list.
  • Listings for Telecommunications Engineer and Telecommunications Network Engineer now sit within the ‘Engineering’ occupation grouping.

Carpenter stays on the CISSL but was not added to the LTSSL as requested by the industry body.

The benefit of meeting the requirements of these lists

There are some benefits if you have an occupation that is on one of the three Essential Skills In Demands list AND you meet the exact requirements of the list. You may have more visa types to choose from and a visa application may be simpler.

Meeting the requirements for an occupation on the LTSSL is beneficial for some types of temporary work visa applications and some types of resident visa applications.

Having an occupation on the CISSL or the RSSL is ONLY beneficial for temporary work visa applications. There is no benefit for resident visa applications. The main benefit is that an employer does not need to show that there are no suitable New Zealand candidates. This makes an application less complicated. It may also be easier to show you meet the qualification or work experience requirements for that occupation.

For resident visa applications under the Skilled Migrant Category, for instance, it means that you may be able to claim more points. It may also be easier to show you have the required skills.