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Immigration initiative to target key skills

Immigration initiative to target key skills

Funding initiatives to support the active recruitment of migrants who will contribute to New Zealand’s skill and growth needs and settle well, is included in Budget 2003.

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said this funding confirms the government’s commitment to achieving positive outcomes for new migrants and New Zealand.

“For several months, I have signalled the need for New Zealand to shift from being a passive recipient of immigration applications to an active recruiter of the skills and talent we need. This announcement will enable NZIS to put in place the infrastructure to do just that.

“This funding will allow the NZIS to more actively match skilled migrants with actual opportunities in New Zealand which will mean they are able to contribute to, and participate in, New Zealand society and the economy sooner. It will also allow the NZIS to enter new markets such as the United States to actively recruit migrants who could help contribute to enhanced innovation, sustainable growth and provide a positive return for New Zealand.”

“The Skilled/Business stream of the NZ Immigration Programme is where we need new migrants to ‘hit the ground running’. It is good for the new migrant and it is good for New Zealand – a win-win,” Lianne Dalziel said.

In the year 2003/2004, this initiative will be allocated $7.610 million in operating and $5.7 million in capital funding. From 2004/05 through to 2005/06 there will be additional capital funding of $5.3 million. Operating funding will be $10.323 million in 2004/05, $11.537 million in 2005/06 and $3.527 million in 2006/07 and outyears.

The funding would enable NZIS to develop systems to support the new approach and also to monitor and evaluate the outcomes of the new strategy.

Lianne Dalziel said this initiative would tie in well with the Pilot Regional Immigration Schemes signed off by her and Progressive leader Jim Anderton, as Minister of Economic Development last year. Evaluation of the pilots later this year will no doubt lead to an expansion of the initiative especially in light of the targeting of skills needed to enhance regional development.

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