03 January 2012

New jobs added to New Zealand skills shortage list

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Changes made to New Zealand’s Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL) have resulted in New Zealand visa opportunities for workers in a number of occupations, with five new occupations identified as being ‘in demand’ and added to the list.

New Zealand immigration

Changes have been made to New Zealand's Long Term Skills Shortage List.

New Zealand’s Department of Labour maintains the Essential Skills in Demand Lists which are intended to ensure that New Zealand’s industries can be augmented by any skills or professionals of which they may be lacking. The lists enable employers to efficiently and cost effectively meet any demand they may have for certain positions which cannot be filled by appropriately qualified New Zealand citizens or other resident workers.

The lists comprise three separate sections: the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL), the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) and the Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL). The latter was only recently implemented in response to the rebuilding requirements needed after the devastating effects of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake which shook the Canterbury region in February of 2011.

The ISSL accounts for any highly skilled occupations of which New Zealand is currently experiencing an immediate shortage and is intended to aid the approval of New Zealand visa applications for temporary work. Conversely, the LTSSL is intended to account for any occupations or positions which New Zealand may be experiencing an ongoing shortage of.

Between the two lists, it is hoped that New Zealand employers can source skilled migrants much easier, General Manager Labour and Immigration Research Centre Vasantha Krishnan says that “Regular reviews of the lists are important to ensure that the Department’s policy is flexible and responsive as the economy continues to experience volatility and fluctuations to the labour market”.

As the labour market is constantly changing, the lists are updated regularly to reflect these changes; the latest review of the lists was released at the start of December and science based occupations rank high in the Long Term Skill Shortage List. A total of five agricultural science occupations alone including Agricultural Scientist (Farm Systems Scientist), Biotechnologist (Genetics Scientist) and Environmental Research Scientist (Water Quality Analyst) were added to the LTSSL.

While science based positions may appear to be the Department of Labour’s priority for workers, the demand for qualified teachers seems to be waning with several teaching occupations being remove from the Immediate Skill Shortage List including Secondary School Teacher and Early Childhood Teacher from the LTSSL; and Primary School Teacher and Early Childhood Teacher (Montessori).

The updated lists hope to ensure that the rate of New Zealand immigration is as beneficial as possible to the prosperity of the country. 


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