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Checkout Operators Are Skilled Workers

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
30 May 2013

Checkout Operators Are Skilled Workers

New Zealand First is raising questions over how 49 Essential Skills visas were issued in 2012 for checkout operators, when there are 146,000 unemployed New Zealanders who are looking for work.

In answer to written questions from Rt Hon Winston Peters, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse advised that “49 visas were issued under Essential Skills, Graduate Job Search, and Graduate Work Experience categories.”

The Minister also confirmed that checkout operators are not included on any of the Essential Skills in Demand Lists.

“This then begs the question of why Immigration New Zealand is issuing Essential Skills visas for jobs that are not on the Essential Skills in Demand Lists.

“What is the point of having a list of Essential Skills needed in New Zealand if Immigration New Zealand is going to ignore it?

“We are not disputing that we need to have skilled immigrants coming to New Zealand to fill gaps in our labour market, but suggesting that a checkout operator is an essential skill which New Zealanders cannot fill is a leap to lunacy”, says Mr Peters.

ENDS

Attached: Written Question 06021 (2013)
Written Question 05557 (2013)

Question: Further to his answer to Question for Written Answer 04896 (2013), what categories were the visas issued under and which of those categories required labour market testing?

Portfolio: Immigration

Minister: Hon Michael Woodhouse

Date Lodged:09/05/2013

Answer Text: I am advised that the 49 visas were issued under Essential Skills, Graduate Job Search, and Graduate Work Experience categories. Essential Skills work visas require a labour market test to be conducted; Graduate Job Search, and Graduate Work Experience categories do not, as these categories are for international students who have recently completed their study.

Attachment: None

Date Received:17/05/2013


Question: Further to his answer to Question for Written Answer 05557 (2013), are checkout operators on any of the Essential Skills In Demand Lists; if not, why were the 49 visas issued under Essential Skills?

Portfolio: Immigration

Minister: Hon Michael Woodhouse

Date Lodged:21/05/2013

Answer Text: I am advised that checkout operators are not included on any of the Essential Skills in Demand Lists. When considering an Essential Skills application Immigration Officers must be satisfied that there are no New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders available to do the work offered. Immigration instructions allow for this labour market test to be satisfied in several ways, one of which is inclusion on the Essential Skills in Demand Lists. If an occupation is included on the Essential Skills in Demand lists and the requirements of these lists are met, then INZ will accept that there is a shortage of New Zealanders available for the position. If an occupation is not included on the Essential Skills in Demand lists, then the labour market test must be satisfied in another way. This could include, but is not limited to, a referral to Work & Income or evidence from the employer showing genuine attempts to recruit New Zealanders.

Attachment: None

Date Received:29/05/2013

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