13 January 2010

Working holiday job seekers up 13 per cent in New Zealand

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The number of young people applying for a working holiday visa is rising, with many primary industries expecting to enjoy an increasing supply of labour.

Figures from the Department of Labour show more than 40,000 people applied for a working holiday for the year ending June 2009: a 13 per cent increase from the previous year.

Working holiday makers are important to the agriculture, horticulture and viticulture industries in New Zealand, providing seasonal labour at crucial times during the harvest season.

New Zealand Summerfruit chairman Gary Bennetts, said working holiday makers were a valuable asset for the burgeoning summer fruit and vineyard industries.

A decline in the number of working holiday-makers several years ago resulted in some fruit not being picked and Mr Bennetts said he welcomed any increase in numbers.

Other industry managers have echoed Mr Bennetts’ statement.

45 South general manager Tim Jones said the cherry and apricot business struggled when the numbers of working holiday makers dropped.
"They are hugely important. They are good workers who are motivated to earn as much as they can and they tend to spend their money in our area."

New Zealand immigration have added several new countries into the working holiday scheme in recent times including Brazil (302 applications), China (660), Latvia (21) and Poland (12) but by far the largest number of working holiday makers come from the United Kingdom with 10,386 application.

In the previous year, there were only 9658 New Zealand Working Holiday Visa applications from the UK.

The next largest group are German nationals, with 6748 applications (up from 5998).

New Zealand has also seen a rise in applicants from France 2689 (up from 1907), the United States 2618 (up from 2220) and Ireland 2383 (up from 1928).


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