Global recruitment company ManpowerGroup says a lack of investment in training will exacerbate a skills shortage over the next year.
In a survey of 40,000 firms around the world it found there was a lack of practical skills among those entering the workforce that are needed to replace those leaving.
The company also concluded employers are not doing enough to develop these practical skills.
ManpowerGroup's Michael Sacco says training has suffered due to budget constraints over the global financial crisis.
He says the survey found half of New Zealand companies surveyed don't offer formal training or apprenticeships.
Mr Sacco says the main skills shortages involve are in roles that traditionally require on-the-job training such as IT, engineering and skilled trades.
He says many forecasts indicate that the skills are simply not there for what is needed to rebuild Christchurch.
Mr Sacco says there needs to be a collaboration between the employers, education providers and authorities to retrain people who may be in roles that are on the decline.