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Talented migrants targeted in selection process

Talented migrants targeted in new selection process

The first group of potential skilled residents picked under a changed selection process are top quality people - which is great news for employers crying out for skilled staff in New Zealand's tight labour market, says Immigration Minister David Cunliffe.

"The vast majority of these people selected for the next stage in the application process already have jobs in New Zealand, or offers of jobs – which shows they have the qualities needed by New Zealand employers. "

Of the total of 1000 potential applicants selected, 910 had jobs or job offers in New Zealand. A total of 2180 people are involved, including family members of applicants.

"While it is too early to tell what future selections will produce, it appears from this first selection that the quality of potential applicants is high," Mr Cunliffe said.

"It is pleasing that interest from talented, experienced and skilled people remains high in this category following changes to the Skilled Migrant Category selection process that I announced last December.

"The changes were designed to benefit New Zealand's labour market by prioritising highly skilled migrants and those with jobs or job offers in New Zealand.

"While pressure is easing on employers, there is still very low unemployment, the labour market remains tight and skill shortages remain acute. Skilled migrants are part of the solution to fill job vacancies and help employers with their business growth.

"The first selection under the new system shows that New Zealand remains a popular place for talented migrants to bring their skills and experience," Mr Cunliffe said.

BACKGROUND

The Skilled Migrant Category selection process

Under the Skilled Migrant Category potential applicants submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for residence and gain points for their skills, qualifications, experience and other indicators of their ability to contribute to New Zealand.

Previously, the EOIs were then ranked and potential applicants meeting the set selection point were invited to apply for residence. Since September 2004 the set selection point has remained at 100.

Under the new selection process announced on 21 December 2005, people who score 140 points and above on their EOI will automatically be selected from the pool.

If there are still places available, people who score between 100 and 140 points and have a New Zealand job or job offer will be ranked and selected in sufficient numbers to meet the annual numbers of skilled migrants needed to fill places in the New Zealand Immigration Programme.

If further places are available, other EOIs may be selected on the basis of specific criteria set by the Minister of Immigration.

The selection

The selection took place yesterday, February 1.

In total 1000 EOIs were selected, 910 per cent of those had jobs or job offers in New Zealand.

A total of 856 of the people who submitted an EOI had 140 points or more and gained automatic selection – which indicates they have high qualification levels and experience in a skilled occupation. Of those, 89 per cent had job or job offers.

Due to a break in selections over the holiday period the number selected was high. It may be that future selections will be smaller, in sufficient numbers to meet the needs New Zealand Immigration Programme.

ENDS

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