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Employers Impressed By Skilled Migrants

Employers are impressed by the great skilled migrants they're finding, says Immigration Minister David Cunliffe.

A new survey has found that the vast majority of employers are pleased with the skilled migrants they are hiring under the Skilled Migrant Category introduced in 2003.

The survey – Skilled Migrants in New Zealand: Employers' Perspective – has found that 81 per cent of employers are impressed with the performance of their skilled migrant staff.

"It means skilled migrant policy is doing what it should – matching up quality migrants with the New Zealand businesses that need them the most," Mr Cunliffe said.

The survey was designed to identify how well the Department of Labour is meeting New Zealand employers' needs at a time of skill shortages. It particularly focused on the ability of the Skilled Migrant Category to meet the requirements of employers.

"Employers continue to tell us that with low unemployment levels, labour shortages are a real constraint to the growth of their businesses. Recent research shows the problem may be easing somewhat, but 19 per cent of firms in a December survey said that the labour shortage was the single factor most limiting their ability to increase turnover," the minister said.

"The Government is committed to working with businesses to ensure that appropriate immigration is one solution to help overcome these shortages and improve the way businesses operate, when qualified local labour is not available." In the survey, 90 per cent of employers reported English language needs were not a problem with their new migrant workers.

The survey can be found at www.immigration.govt.nz

Names and details of employers who have successfully found skilled migrant staff are available:

Background

The Skilled Migrants in New Zealand: Employers' Perspective survey was designed to identify how well the Department of Labour was meeting New Zealand employers' needs in a time of skill shortage. It particularly focused on the ability of the Skilled Migrant Category to meet the requirements of employers. Key findings · Overall, the Department of Labour met the needs of employers who hired skilled migrants during the survey period. 81% of the employers reported they were satisfied with the migrants they had hired (i.e. rating the migrants performance on the job as good or very good).

· 69% of the migrants in the sample were still working for the employer they were hired by when their residence or work-to-residence was approved, and 27% of the migrants had since left the organisation. Of those who had left, almost half had stayed with the organisation for longer than 12 months. 41% of those who had left had gone on to a job with another New Zealand employer.

· 56% of employers reported their organisation had benefited more from employing a migrant than they would have from employing a New Zealand resident. · The main benefits of hiring migrants identified by employers were: contributing to their organisation's knowledge, possessing skills that New Zealand residents did not have, raising their organisation's level of expertise, contributing to their organisation's growth, and innovative practices. · Very few employers reported the migrants had difficulties fitting in to the workplace culture or had difficulties with the English language. 90 per cent of employers reported that the job performance of the migrants they had hired was not affected by difficulties with the English language.

· Of the 38% of employers who had contact with the Department of Labour in the previous 12 months, 72% reported their needs had been met, and slightly more than half reported the overall quality of service was "good" or "very good". Most needed advice on recruiting migrants or advice about immigration policies.

· About one fifth of the employers reported streamlining the application process would help them most with their future immigration needs.

The employers came from a wide variety of sectors - property and business services and education being the most common in this survey.

In total, 97% of employers identified current skill shortages. The strategies employers most frequently reported using to fill their current skill shortages were to give more training to their existing staff, followed by recruiting a migrant and making the pay and work conditions more attractive for current staff. Most employers (84%) reported they had previously employed migrants in the past 5 years. One third of the employers surveyed were migrants to New Zealand themselves.

The occupations of the migrants employed varied widely. The most frequently occupation being filled by the migrant was corporate managers (12%), other professionals (12%), teaching professionals (9%), and physical science and engineering associate professionals (9%).


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