A construction boom in New Zealand has lead to demand for British workers.

There are currently 3000 unfilled skilled construction vacancies in New Zealand.

Hays Montrose, a construction recruitment firm, has claimed the skills shortage is so acute that £1.7bn worth of public and private building work is in danger as there is nobody available to build it.

The prospect of UK professionals taking up the offer of long working holidays in New Zealand, with its celebrated scenery and low cost of living, has led to fears that Britain’s own skills crisis may be worsened.

A spokesperson for the Construction Confederation said: "This is one of the perils of the open market. We must ensure that pay, conditions and job security in this country are good enough to stop our skilled workers leaving."

However, the Construction Industry Training Board said this was evidence that UK construction was a world-class industry. A spokesperson said: “Stories that show the variety that workers can enjoy can only encourage recruitment to the UK industry.”

New Zealand needs temporary and permanent building services personnel, engineers, architects and QSs. Skilled labourers are also in demand.

The Hays Montrose spokesperson said: “In most demand are second jobbers aged between 28 and 35.”