Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub to close

The Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub is closing down, as employers’ demand for foreign workers in Christchurch falls.

Earlier today, Immigration New Zealand announced that by the end of the month it will be permanently closing the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub.

The Hub was initially established to streamline the issuance of visas in the Canterbury region during the rebuild of Christchurch following a series of earthquakes. Employers wishing to take on foreign workers for low-skilled position which were not listed on any Skill Shortage Lists would be required to advertise the vacancy the Hub.

It was hoped that by advertising positions with the Hub, employers would also take on local staff for low-skilled positions, instead of automatically looking to recruit from overseas.

From June 1st 2018, the Hub will no longer be accepting new employer registrations from employers or job seekers. At the same time, the Hub will stop accepting new vacancies. On June 29th 2018, the Hub will be closed permanently.

Immigration New Zealand has stated that the reason for the closure of the Hub is a reduction in the demand from employers for additional workers, especially for positions related to the rebuild of the city.

Following the closure of the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub, employers in the region will be able to recruit low-skilled employees following the same process as in the rest of the country. Prior to taking on foreign workers, employers will need to advertise jobs with Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ). If WINZ determines that there are hireable or trainable candidates on their databases, Immigration New Zealand may opt to decline an application for a visa.

The Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub was launched as a collaborative project by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Social Development, and has been a mandatory part of work visa applications in Christchurch since January 2013.

Article published 9th May 2018