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Employment Key To Migrant Success

5 July 2002

National will review the points system used for immigrants so that New Zealand can accept more immigrants who have the skills the country needs, National Immigration Spokesperson Marie Hasler said today.

"National will establish a process for recognising the skills of those whose experience and qualifications overseas are not recognised in New Zealand, in areas where New Zealand needs their skills. This will include relevant industry training.

"Under the current immigration policy there are mismatches between the skills of those who migrate to New Zealand and the jobs they end up doing here. The current system is too rigid. It excludes migrants with skills New Zealand needs.

"Many immigrants don't get the opportunity to prove they can contribute a great deal to the workforce, sometimes because of language barriers.

"National will introduce employment law that enables employees to give job seekers a trial start. The law will include an optional 90-day trial period agreed between employer and employee which allows either party to terminate the employment without a grievance. We will also assist migrants to upgrade their English skills with increased tuition.

"We will also review and simplify criteria for the Long-Term Business Visa to reduce bureaucracy and compliance costs for prospective investors.

"We are losing too many young New Zealanders to overseas because their partners can't work here. National will issue a 6-month temporary work permit to the sponsored partners of young New Zealanders returning home.

"We will also offer work permits to overseas students who graduate after three years in New Zealand.

"National supports New Zealand's commitment to take 750 refugees per year and will continue to support the settlement of bona fide UN-approved refugees ahead of illegal immigrants.

"We oppose an increase the number of refugees accepted each year. We will make HIV and AIDS tests mandatory for all migrants and refugees," Marie Hasler said.


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