Gary McIlwrick on Steph Burling’s books as ready for work. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

KAREN COLTMAN
karen.coltman@age.co.nz

Masterton recruitment agencies are busy as job seekers walk through the door and employers are phoning seeking staff.

Most of the jobs available are manual labour jobs but include jobs with the big Wairarapa food producers. Traffic control jobs are also on the books.

Kiwi Recruitment Wairarapa manager Tayla Clingan said there was still a Wairarapa-wide shortage of trained digger operators and heavy truck drivers. There is a vacancy for an accountant, two personal assistants and a few administration jobs to be filled. Jobs more commonly held by temporary immigrant seasonal workers for example are increasingly available.

Clingan said business was picking up and “getting back to normal” with office jobs being filled as well.

Manager of Drake New Zealand Masterton branch Steph Burling said she’s “flat out”.

She ran the agency from home during lockdown as an essential service, filling essential service staff vacancies.

When she reopened the office on May 18, she held candidate interviews from 9am to 3pm.

“Forty more people are on the books since before the covid-19 crisis,” Burling said. “We’ve had people preparing for job loss and others wanting change.”

Monday’s earthquake resulted in more calls from people wanting to work in Wairarapa.

Burling said people who commute from Wairarapa towns to work in Wellington are weighing up their lifestyle and travel time after the health crisis.

“For people not keen on commuting to Wellington anymore it is a good time to think about diversifying skills and to look at something different.”

But Burling said for employers to attract a professional changing careers they would be wise to offer careers not just jobs.

“Offering on-the-job training and a career is attractive to someone entering a job,” she said. “If companies don’t offer this, they can end up with high staff turnover because of low job satisfaction and this means making extra training investments over time.

“It does pay off to invest in the staff you have recruited.”

This week she has been approached by an employer seeking an accountant and another looking for a diesel mechanic.

“We have professionals looking for something different with some interested in being traffic controllers or even joining a factory team. Things are changing all the time and it is an interesting time to be in recruitment.”

Gary McIlwrick was recruited by Drake for Pope & Gray Contractors in Greytown where he worked for a year. He is ready for a new job and he walked into Drake to get on the books again.

“I’m keen to get going,” McIlwrick said. “I am really open to all sorts of jobs. I can stay overnight and out of town if necessary. I’m work ready”.



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