Trades people are the latest group of workers to join the brain drain, and they're doing so in droves.
Young trades people are chasing jobs and larger pay packets in Australia in a migration dubbed the "trades drain".
In one year, more than 17,600 people aged between 20 and 29 moved to Australia - most were in the technicians and trades workers and professionals categories.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union spokeswoman Louisa Jones says New Zealand is in a jobs crisis.
She says the effect of the global financial crisis on manufacturing, the high New Zealand dollar and the Australian mining boom is contributing to the loss of trades workers.
And the Government's being told to intervene in the country's loss of skilled labour.
Labour Party Deputy Leader Grant Robertson says the country's on the way to a skills crisis and the Government seems content to sit back and let it happen.
Mr Robertson says it's missing in action when it comes to supporting skills and training and he predicts the trades drain is set to continue.
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