05 March 2008

1,500 grape pruners needed through New Zealand immigration

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The New Zealand wine growing industry has claimed that Marlborough needs 1,500 more grape pruners - and wants to use New Zealand immigration to get them. New Zealand Winegrowers has called on the government to let experienced skilled workers in the industry to be allowed to stay in the country for the grape season. The grape growers are blaming the shortage on the new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme.

Grape growers and contractors in the area are claiming that the process of applying for the RSE scheme is too long. Marlborough grower Susheel Dutt, told the Marlborough Express: "The timing of getting the RSE approval and workers is extremely important and I don't think they understand that. My big question is, if we need experienced people, why can't they stay?" The industry is claiming that 3,000 workers are needed and at present only 1,500 are available and it wants to make up the shortfall with New Zealand immigration.

Recently construction businesses in New Zealand have voiced their concerns that the need for building workers in Australia may result in a shortage in New Zealand.

New Zealand needs skilled migrants: Anyone applying for a New Zealand visa should begin by taking the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment to see if they meet the basic legislative requirements.

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