Presentation on theme: "Skills and the Labour Market Considerations and Policy Changes for the Current Economic Climate Richard Howard Managing Director – Pathways to New Zealand."— Presentation transcript:
Skills and the Labour Market Considerations and Policy Changes for the Current Economic Climate Richard Howard Managing Director – Pathways to New Zealand Ltd Chairman – NZAMI
What does it take to get a skilled migrant to be a productive worker in the NZ workforce? 1.They need to be found 2.Employment terms agreed 3.Immigration process to be successfully completed 4.Arrangements made in the home country to leave job, home, family etc 5.Arrival and settlement into NZ with accommodation, schooling etc 6.Assimilation into the workforce 7.Integration into the community
Total cost? $10,000 plus… Social or opportunity cost?
How long does it take for the investment in a skilled migrant worker to be lost or wasted? Not long…
When the economy recovers and the employer needs these skills again to grow their business and these skills are not available locally… What will they do?
Migrant workers will be more difficult to locate and attract Migrant workers will require more immigration security Employers may need to offer additional incentives The process will cost more… The process will take more time…
Need to protect investment made by both employers and migrant families Skills will be required in the future More time and cost to attract skills back Skills will help economic recovery of New Zealand Costs of social and community integration? Investment Protection
Policy change: Restrict lower skilled workers to a maximum permit entitlement of 1 year Effect of change: – NZ will become a less attractive destination for the migrant workers – Migrants will have realistic expectations about their ability to stay Concerns: – Many people currently at a high risk of losing their jobs and/or of not having their work permits renewed – High number of low skilled migrants creates an immigration risk Immigration Policy Responses
Policy change: Allowing migrants who lose jobs through the 90 day probationary employment period to be issued a 3 month visitor permit Concerns: – How to identify whether migrants are “bona fide” visitors? – An open work permit would have been more appropriate Benefits: – Allowing children to continue schooling – addressing actual and practical impact on migrants and their families when faced with a job loss situation Immigration Policy Responses
What about the low skilled migrants who are well settled in New Zealand? Possible options: – Apply directly for residence or – Apply for residence conditional on buying a home in NZ or – Apply for residence and be issued a work-to-residence permit which would be converted to residence on completion of a further 9m of working in their role Possible Immigration Policy Responses
What about the migrants on work-to-residence or skill shortage policies? Possible options: – Apply for 12 month open work permit – Apply for student permit and be accrued adult domestic student status? Clearly suitable qualifying criteria will need to be set Possible Immigration Policy Responses
Can not consider immigration policy in isolation – Real family – Real lives – Real feelings Need for policy solutions that: – Benefit both New Zealand and the migrant family Opportunity to learn from this lesson and to future proof policies Immigration v Social Policy