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Wasted Money Could Have Helped Progress Skilled Migrants Says NZAMI

The deferral of the new accreditation of employers’ system to 2022 means the Government has wasted thousands of dollars by sending immigration staff throughout New Zealand this year to explain a system it is not ready to implement.

Ms June Ranson, chair of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI), says the deferral shows a lack of planning.

“We in the immigration industry could not see from the outset how the new accreditation system could have been implemented by November 1, based on Immigration NZ’s lack of staff, the upgrading of its IT system and the Government’s previous history in delaying changes,” Ms Ranson says.

“The money wasted here with travel alone, could have been used towards processing of Skilled Migrant Residence applications for migrants who have been waiting for more than two years to learn of their future in New Zealand.

“After all, we have been told that the Skilled Migrant residence category is hindered through no funding for resourcing requirements.”

Ms Ranson says other changes announced by Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi will not solve the skill shortages employers are facing, and which are forcing them to operate fewer hours, or close their business, impacting all industries. This will impact on the New Zealand economy.

“Industries across New Zealand have been crying out for skilled workers,” she says. “The Government’s new answer to help this, when the median wage increases to $27 per hour from July 19, is to enable skilled people to gain longer term visas: a two-year visa if the worker is paid below median wage, or three years if above the median wage.

“The past requirement on employers to prove that no New Zealand residents or citizens could fill the role has been withdrawn. Should the migrant be changing his role or region location with the employer, the position is required to be advertised. What has been announced for the temporary work visas is purely tinkering with the system – a smokescreen for people to think something proactive is happening!

“While the Government is still reviewing the criteria for border entry through the other critical worker pathway, without some expansion to the current criteria employers will still be struggling to find enough workers.”

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