09 October 2012

New online New Zealand visa system for Christchurch rebuild

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The New Zealand government has announced the launch of an online system designed to make it easier for employers to find workers for the rebuild operation in Christchurch which will include a facility to help process New Zealand visa operations.

New Zealand visa

Immigration Minister Nathan Guy said the new online Hub would allow employers to recruit foreign labour easier.

The rebuild operation from the earthquake which devastated Christchurch in 2011 is still to begin in earnest as the city has struggled to find the necessary labour in the wake of a mass exodus following the disaster.

Employers have frequently complained over the need to have easier access to foreign labour and the government have now responded with the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub.

"Helping people into work on the Christchurch rebuild is a key priority for this government," said Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. "A streamlined business friendly recruitment process is vital."

"This government is focused on skills and pre-employment training to support people into work and help break the cycle of long term benefit dependence.

"The new Hub will build on current initiatives and make the most of existing relationships with businesses in the region."

The Hub will mainly be an online service which will allow employers to list vacancies and recruit directly from Work and Income New Zealand as well as several ongoing training programs.

One of the main obstacles to meeting the region's labour requirements has been the argument between using local or internationally sourced labour but Immigration Minister Nathan Guy says the Hub will provide the required balance between the two.

"The Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub will also pilot a new approach to the migrant work visa process between Immigration and Work and Income," said Mr Guy.

"This will give New Zealanders the first crack at jobs in the rebuild and save employer's time if they have to apply to Immigration for a work visa for new staff."

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

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