01 October 2008
NZ metal company flies to Philippines to recruit foreign workers
A metal company in New Zealand flew to Manila in order to fill the chronic skilled labour shortage in his workforce, reports The Southland Times.
The Invercargill workshop has been suffering from a skilled labour shortage, and in response Crown Sheet Metal Manager Eamon Young flew with the manager of his sister company in Blenheim to Manila to recruit welders.
The company has organised two-year New Zealand work permits for the Filipino welders, who have said will eventually apply for permanent residence in the country.
During the past financial year, 9,000 Filipinos have been granted New Zealand work permits out of the 176,000 available. Of these, around 300 Filipinos are working in Southland on farms.
The Mayor of Invercargill Tim Shaldbolt says the region is desperate for skilled workers to support the booming dairy industry, reports New Zealand Herald.
"We're desperate. We have a booming dairy industry with 100 farms waiting for conversion, we've got dairy factories opening in Invercargill and Gore, and the Fonterra factory is being doubled in size."
Scott O'Donnell, Managing Director of the Richardson Group, said his company needs 30 workers and is paying wages that compete with Auckland’s. He told the news provider this will benefit workers greatly, as the cost of living in Southland is considerably less than in Auckland.
Recent figures show that Southland has the nation’s fastest growing economy, with 3.4 per cent annual growth in the year to March. It was also the only region in which the number of car registrations increased, and has the second-highest retail spending in the country.
"If Southland was a country it would be near the top of the OECD for economic growth," Shadbolt said. "Why wouldn't you want to live here?"
"While every other region in New Zealand is suffering from a decrease in housing values, ours went up 8 per cent over the past year, which has helped stabilise our economy," he added.
The Government is campaigning world-wide for international students and skilled workers to move to New Zealand so that shortages in the skilled workforce can be filled. Last month, Government officials were running an information seminar in India to entice more foreign students to work and study in the country.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.
Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.