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Skilled New Zealanders head offshore

22 November 2012

Skilled New Zealanders head offshore

Businesses complaining about skills shortages can blame the National Government’s failure to staunch the flood of Kiwis to Australia and create jobs in this country, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.

Data released by Statistics New Zealand today in its International Travel and Migration Survey shows that, in the past three years, over 10,000 New Zealanders in the manufacturing and engineering professions and over 13,000 New Zealanders in the building and construction professions have emigrated.

“National has failed to save jobs in manufacturing and construction, which has forced skilled Kiwis to move overseas in their thousands,” said Dr Norman.

“If companies do look to hire, they are finding many of the skilled workers have left for Australia. This loss of talent is stifling companies’ ability to grow and hampering economic recovery.

“Paradoxically, we are in a situation where unemployment is rising and manufacturers are reporting skills shortages.

“The rebuild of Christchurch will be both slower and more expensive because of the loss of the skilled workforce needed to carry it out.

“It is vital that we keep what is left of our skills base in New Zealand and expand it. That requires government to work closely with employers to save jobs, rather than just leaving it to the market. The National Government’s hands-off approach has failed,” said Dr Norman.


Summary of emigration by selected occupation
Permanent departures by occupation
Year to October 2010 2011 2012 Total
Manufacturing and engineering professions 3710 4805 4617 10307
Building and construction professions 2854 3756 3697 13132


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