Up­to14jobs may go on short­age list

Otago Daily Times - - GENERAL - SI­MON COLLINS

AUCK­LAND: Car­pen­ters, teach­ers and cafe and restau­rant man­agers may get fast­track per­mits to im­mi­grate to New Zealand un­der a new Gov­ern­ment pro­posal.

The three groups are among 14 jobs pro­posed to be added to the Es­sen­tial Skills in De­mand list, which makes it eas­ier for em­ploy­ers to hire work­ers from over­seas.

Im­mi­gra­tion NZ gen­eral man­ager Stephen Dun­stan said adding an oc­cu­pa­tion to the list meant that em­ploy­ers would not have to show that there were no suit­able NZ ap­pli­cants for jobs, and over­seas ap­pli­cants would be granted work visas.

The build­ing in­dus­try and teach­ers’ unions wel­comed the pro­posal in view of se­vere short­ages in both sec­tors.

Master Builders Fed­er­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive David Kelly said he was ‘‘very pleased’’ that the list in­cluded con­struc­tion project man­agers and build­ing as­so­ciates as well as car­pen­ters, glaziers, plumbers, quan­tity sur­vey­ors and stone­ma­sons.

‘‘A lot of the com­men­tary has been around trades skills like car­pen­ters and glaziers, and while that is ab­so­lutely true, just as big an is­sue is those pro­ject­man­ager­type roles,’’ he said.

‘‘We need to make sure that we have not just trade skills but peo­ple who are run­ning busi­nesses and projects, be­cause that is where a num­ber of the prob­lems start when in­ex­pe­ri­enced project man­agers just don’t know how to man­age some of the big­ger projects.’’

NZ Ed­u­ca­tional In­sti­tute pres­i­dent Lynda Stu­art said her union would not op­pose adding pri­mary and early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion (ECE) teach­ers to the list.

‘‘While we won’t op­pose teach­ers be­ing added to the list for the short term, clearly the qual­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity of both pri­mary and ECE work­forces are at risk,’’ she said.

The Post Pri­mary Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion said it would also not op­pose sec­ondary teach­ers be­ing added to the list.

Hos­pi­tal­ity NZ pol­icy and ad­vo­cacy man­ager Na­dine Mehlhopt said restau­rants and cafes would ‘‘ab­so­lutely’’ wel­come cafe and restau­rant man­agers be­ing added to the list.

‘‘It’s some­thing we have been ask­ing for quite some time,’’ she said.

She said it was a mis­ap­pre­hen­sion that ‘‘any old body’’ could run a cafe.

The rest­home sec­tor will also be pleased to see aged­care nurses, al­though not care­givers, on the pro­posed list.

How­ever the Min­istry of Busi­ness, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment, which runs Im­mi­gra­tion NZ, has not ex­pressed a view on whether any of the 14 new oc­cu­pa­tions should be added to the es­sen­tial skills list, and has as­sessed them all as hav­ing only ‘‘mod­er­ate’’ ev­i­dence of skill short­ages.

Jobs listed on the Jobs On­line in­dex ac­tu­ally de­clined in the year to June in 10 of the 14 oc­cu­pa­tions, and in­creased only for aged care nurses (up 27%), fit­ters (up 14%), glaziers (up 11%) and wood ma­chin­ists (up 10%).

Im­mi­gra­tion NZ granted 4684 es­sen­tial skills visas to peo­ple in the 14 oc­cu­pa­tions in the year to June, in­clud­ing 1962 car­pen­ters, 1043 cafe and restau­rant man­agers and 708 aged care nurses.

The visas granted to aged care nurses rep­re­sented 240% of the to­tal 284 reg­is­tered nurses es­ti­mated to be em­ployed in aged care, al­though the min­istry noted that this was prob­a­bly due to clas­si­fi­ca­tion is­sues. — NZME

A The pro­posed list is open for sub­mis­sions un­til Novem­ber 9 and a fi­nal list will be is­sued in Jan­uary.

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