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Skilled migration in freefall

Hon Tony Ryall - National Immigration Spokesman

2 September 2004

Skilled migration in freefall

"Yet another reduction in the points requirement for skilled migrants shows the Government's policy is in freefall," says National's Immigration spokesman, Tony Ryall.

The points requirement has today been reduced to 100. It has gradually reduced since February when it stood at 195 points.

"The requirement of 195 points meant that successful applicants would have a masters degree, 10 years work experience, a job offer and a healthy bank balance. Now it has swung around to people with a couple of years' work experience, not a dollar in the bank and they don't even need a job offer.

"The Government's confused and ever-changing policy has turned too many skilled migrants off New Zealand," says Mr Ryall.

"At the same time we are facing the worst skills shortage in quarter of a century. Immigration should be helping meet the skills shortage. Because of the Government, it is not"

Mr RyalI predicts that within a month the points requirement will drop even further.

"If the requirement drops to 90, applicants won't even need any work experience," he says. "This is almost completely opposite to where the Government started from!

"We are in the ridiculous situation where potential skilled migrants overseas with job offers have to ask potential employers to hold their jobs open for months on end. But at the same time the doors are wide open to the families of existing immigrants no matter what their skills or qualities.

"Labour's shambolic policy overhaul has caused a collapse of confidence among potential migrants. It will take a long time to make up lost ground," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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