24 October 2008

Chamber of Commerce: perfect time to poach overseas skilled workers for NZ

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Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, said that as New Zealand immigration falls to a seven-year low, businesses should be jumping at the opportunity to poach the best overseas skilled workers, reports the National Business Review.

Mr Barnett visited the UK this month to attend the Jobs New Zealand expo, and saw first-hand the huge number of UK citizens looking for jobs abroad, and said the market in the UK is full of news about job losses. 

A huge amount of jobs have been lost in the UK already, according to Mr Barnett, and the future is looking to bring further bad news for the UK workforce.  He feels, as most of the job losses are occurring in the 20-30 year age bracket, it is the perfect time to recruit skilled workers from the UK.

Mr Barnett said the Government should not shy away from retaining high levels of immigration, especially if the domestic market begins to soften, as the New Zealand economy thrives on people bringing skills to the country.

"These people will not compete with New Zealanders looking for employment.  If they have better skills, we should fight to get them," he said.

Statistics New Zealand released statistics this week showing the net migration for New Zealand reached 4,400 for the year ending September, which was nearly half the number of the same period last year.

 In related news, according to experts, higher paid jobs are becoming more available for skilled workers in New Zealand, making migration all the more attractive for the thousands of foreign nationals looking to move to New Zealand every month. 

TradeMe officials have told Stuff.co.nz the number of six-figure jobs increased by 20 per cent over the past five weeks, and demand for overseas workers is following the same trend.  It is hoped the winning combination will encourage more people to emigrate to New Zealand and ease the skill shortage.

"There definitely has been wage pressure on roles that are in shortage and I think organisations are beginning to ascertain that they need to pay more," Julie Cressey, Madison Recruitment national manager, told Stuff.co.nz.


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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