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Christchurch builds opportunities for overseas skills

The Government’s efforts to rebuild Christchurch will create job opportunities for skilled workers from overseas, but priority would be given to New Zealanders with appropriate skills, Immigration Minister Nathan Guy has said.

Speaking at the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment conference held on August 31, 2012 in Auckland, he admitted that New Zealand suffered a shortage of workers in the related areas of construction and hence recruitment of specialists from overseas would be inevitable.

He said that rebuilding Canterbury is one of the Government’s four main priorities during its current term in office.

“It is the single biggest economic undertaking in New Zealand’s history and thousands of trained and qualified workers will be required across a range of industries. I want to ensure that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has the systems in place to quickly and efficiently process entry of migrants required when the pace of the rebuild increases,” he said.

Exciting future

Mr Guy said that Christchurch has a hugely exciting future.

“We would ensure that policies are in place to support firms where there are identified skill shortages. We are also adopting a streamlined approach for these employers so that they get the workers they need as quickly as possible,” he said.

According to Mr Guy, many applicants were able to meet the criteria and that more than 300 people were granted visas for work associated with the Christchurch rebuild last year,” Mr Guy said.

The permit process

According to INZ website, the ‘Essential Skills in Demand Lists’ included the ‘Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)’, the ‘Immediate Skill Shortage List’ (ISSL) and the ‘Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL).’

A statement on the website said that INZ used the LTSSL for temporary work and residence instructions.

“If you come to work in New Zealand based on meeting the LTSSL requirements, you may be eligible for residence through our Work to Residence (LTSSL) instructions, or the Skilled Migrant Category.

“We only use the ISSL for temporary work instructions. If you come to work in New Zealand based on meeting the ISSL requirements, there is no direct link to residence.”

INZ would use the CSSL for temporary work visas under the Essential Skills instructions or Work to Residence (LTSSL) instructions. The CSSL contains occupations required during the Canterbury rebuild, following recent earthquakes in the region.

“You can search the LTSSL or the ISSL individually, or you can search both LTSSL and ISSL lists at once (the CSSL will be excluded from this joint search). The List highlights occupations currently on the Immediate and Long Term Skill Shortage Lists that are needed for the Canterbury rebuild.”

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