20 November 2008

NZ's health sector remains "recession-proof"

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According to a survey, the demand for healthcare workers in New Zealand has remained high despite concerns of a slowing economy and a slackening in the demand for businesspeople, reports the New Zealand Herald.

Recruitment and Consulting Services Association, an Australian and New Zealand industry body, conducted a survey that found the demand for businesspeople dropped significantly, despite still being a skill high in demand.  The quarterly member survey showed that business professionals dropped from fourth to 14th place on the skills shortage list. 

Health professionals, however, remained static on the list at number two.  Non-building engineering associates ranked the number one skill in demand, while medical technicians and drivers made the top four.

Non-building professional engineers, nurses, mobile plant operators, IT and telecommunications trades, IT and telecommunications technicians, and electrical trades (building) followed behind for the fifth to tenth rankings, respectively.

Association chief executive Julie Mills said the results were positive for New Zealand's employment market and those who move to New Zealand.

"What we're now seeing is a return to a more sustainable level of employment demand," she told the newspaper.

"Throughout last year and the beginning of 2008, the labour market was stretched so tight that employers were often unable to find the talent they needed; now there appears to be some relief at hand."

This month the citizens of New Zealand voted the National Party into government.  Jonathan "Smokey" Coleman will now be responsible for developing government policy on New Zealand immigration, and will play a major role in maintaining New Zealand's competitiveness in the global tourism market.

National's Immigration spokesperson Lockwood Smith said his party would work to counteract the brain drain by encouraging Kiwis home and increasing the number of skilled migrants who wish to emigrate to New Zealand.

The new government's policy will focus on creating opportunities in New Zealand so that overseas Kiwis will return home with their developed skills, and prospective skilled migrants will look to New Zealand and have confidence in the country's world-class immigration services and job opportunities.

"National wants to assure potential immigrants, along with all New Zealanders and Kiwi employers, that they will be given an efficient, world-class immigration service that acts with integrity and produces the best outcomes for the widest interests of New Zealand," Mr Lockwood said in a press release.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.

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