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Seasonal worker increase a relief

Businesses in the produce sector and horticulture and viticulture industries will be relieved at the Government’s decision to increase the number of seasonal workers they can bring in from overseas, says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) Inc, or EMA.

Chief executive Brett O’Riley says, "Our members have long been frustrated by the difficulty in attracting local workers and a shortage of overseas workers to process their crops, especially in the Bay of Plenty.

"The announced increase in the cap on the number of foreign seasonal workers they can employ in the next two years will be a significant help."

The cap has been raised by 3150 workers nationally over the next two years, with 1550 of those allocated to the 2019-20 season.

Mr O’Riley says, "The requirement for the industry to prove it is making these jobs more attractive for local workers may be a little difficult to do, but the condition on employers to provide adequate and suitable accommodation for foreign workers, is a fair requirement to ensure good employers are not maligned by the activities of a few and overseas workers are housed in good levels of accommodation."


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