24 February 2003
Exploiting Migrant Workers Won't Solve Skills Shortage
“Exploiting migrant workers is not the answer to our skills shortage,” said Council of Trade Unions president Paul Goulter today.
“The answer lies in higher wages and more training of New Zealand workers.” he said.
Paul Goulter said employers who exploited vulnerable immigrant workers were using a short term solution which did nothing to address the skills shortage issue.
“We need to keep the people who are here in New Zealand by paying good wages and upskilling our existing workforce,” he said.
Paul Goulter expressed concern that the Road Transport Association had raised the issue of a shortage of drivers, and was now seeking to attract drivers from overseas.
“There needs to be compelling reasons for resorting to more immigration to address skills shortages instead of providing good wages and skills training to existing workers,” said Paul Goulter.
“However, employers have a responsibility, both legally and morally to extend all the protections of our employment laws.”