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Fast tracked skilled migrant applications key for skills gap

Fast tracked skilled migrant applications key to bridging NZ short-term skills gap
Updating our immigration policies could be effective as a short-term solution to easing our ongoing shortage of highly skilled and educated workers in New Zealand, says recruiting experts Hays.

According to the recruiter, the ongoing and severe skills shortage in New Zealand can be overcome with a series of longer-term measures, including closer ties between business and government, fiscal incentives and input from business on university courses. Such measures would close the skills gap and reduce youth unemployment. But they are also strategies that are unlikely to increase our talent pool for several years.

Therefore in the short-term, the Government needs clarity on the skills that are required and must make the process to employ them quicker and easier, says Hays.

“For a country growing as quickly as New Zealand the Government need to ensure that policies and processes are geared toward attracting those highly skilled workers in short supply locally, right now,” said Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

“One of the principal causes of the imbalance in the global skills market is the very real obstacles that employers and employees alike face from immigration systems.

“Governments can help by both simplifying and standardising the work visa processes for skilled workers, and critically, by speeding up application times.”

Hays suggests the following to further streamline the skilled migrant process:

1. International agreement on a priority skills visa process, whereby qualified individuals with current priority skills should be granted fast track status.

2. An international standard for a work visa application of 30 days once submitted.

3. Longer and more easily renewable visas for skilled individuals to provide both them and their employers with greater security of continued visa status.

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand for April to June 2014 there is an immediate shortage of professionals in many areas, including:

Construction – Quantity Surveyors, Estimators, Site/Project Managers, Site/Project Engineers;
Engineering – Structural Engineers, Building Services Engineers, Civil Engineers, Civil Designers;
Accountancy & Finance – Senior Accountants, Auditors; and
Trades & Labour – Brick & Block Layers, Scaffolders (Advanced), Plasterers, Carpenters.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

- Ends -

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