New Zealand to adopt regional focus on immigration

The New Zealand government is to set a more regional focus on filling skills shortages through immigration.

Skills shortages lists are to become more regionalised so New Zealand can build thriving and sustainable regions, explained Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway upon announcing new skill lists.

“We are supporting our regions to thrive by focussing more on what skills are needed in their specific region with our new listings,” he said

“Under the Essential Skills in Demand programme, we’ve changed the Immediate Skills Shortage List to the Regional Skill Shortage Lists and expanded the number of regions from six to 15. This shows us which skills are needed in which region and shows New Zealanders and temporary migrants where their opportunities are for work in provincial New Zealand.”

The Minister continued: “These changes to the Essential Skills in Demand lists are the first step in the Government’s plan to streamline and regionalise the skills-based visa system and require industries that benefit to invest in and provide opportunities for Kiwi workers.

“Three teaching roles – early childhood, primary and secondary school teachers – have been added to all regions on the Regional Skill Shortage List. Adding these vital education sector positions to the lists will help us support the education sector, which is experiencing a teacher shortage.” Lees-Galloway added.

Aged Care nurses have been added to the Long-Term Skill Shortage List, Building Associate has been added to the Construction Skills Shortage list, while three other occupations have been amended to better reflect the nature of the shortage or deal with duplications. No occupations have been removed from the Lists completely.

“These proposals simplify the number of different visa options, respond to sectoral or regional differences in the labour market, and align the immigration system with the education, skills and welfare systems,” said Iain Lees-Galloway.

The key changes announced yesterday were:

– The Regional Skill Shortage Lists are replacing the Immediate Skill Shortage List, and the number of regions is expanding from six to 15

– Three occupations (Early Childhood, Primary School and Secondary School Teacher) are being added to the new Regional Skill Shortage List

– Aged Care Nurses is being added to the Long-Term Skill Shortage List

– Building Associate is being added to the Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List.

Article published 9th May 2019