New Zealand issued more than 200,000 temporary work visas in the year ending June, which is an increase of close to 30,000 compared to the same period in the previous year.
The number of new residents who arrived on its shores too increased by 20 percent to 52,000 during the same period.
Massey University’s pro-vice-chancellor of the college of humanities and social sciences, Professor Paul Spoonley, was quoted by Radio New Zealand as saying that their country had received more workers and new residents than any other OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nation.
According to New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, the high number of applications has not displaced native people from the job market.
Spoonley adds that the people who are being allowed entry into their country was owing to the fact that their skills were required and as New Zealand does not have sufficient native workers to fill vacancies in those sectors. Though these numbers might decrease slightly, they reveal that the demand for workers with skills in certain sectors in the country, he said. Employers were unable to find the skilled workers they wanted in New Zealand, said Spoonley.
Michael Carley, Immigration New Zealand assistant general manager, said that the first priority for employment was afforded to the citizens and residents of the island nation before they were offered to foreign nationals who were in New Zealand on work visas.
In other words, foreign workers would be employed only when they were no New Zealanders available and these people were offered jobs in sectors where there was a scarcity of skills.
Meanwhile, visas granted in other segments also rose sharply in the last year. The number of student visas exceeded the 100,000 mark, while the visitor visas rose by nearly 25 percent to nearly 600,000.
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