Job vacancies set to fall as international student numbers increase

 

International students are career-ready says ‘Study in New Zealand’ (Sourced Photo)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, December 11, 2022

Although international students cannot expect to obtain ‘automatic residency’ following the completion of their education, they can exercise their rights to job access, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has said.

He said that his government recognised the importance of the export education sector and the value brought by international students but the emphasis will be on quality, not quantity.

Speaking at the monthly online meeting of the Indians Living in Auckland Facebook Discussion Group jointly hosted with Indian Newslink on December 10, 2022, he said that international students can also help in solving the skills shortage currently faced in the labour market.

“While the Covid-19 pandemic was devastating with an adverse impact on the export education sector, we are now rebuilding and we are confident of faster recovery. We have had more than 20,000 international student applications, of which 18,000 are already in New Zealand. We will continue to receive more students as new applications are processed,” he said.

Immigration Minister Michael Wood (Screen Grab)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Indian Connection

Mr Wood acknowledged the importance of India and the value that Indian students bring to New Zealand’s education sector.

“Students from India are among our largest intakes across our education system. Private Training Establishments (PTEs) report that the largest number of applications are from India. Te Pukenga, the recently launched New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology has also reported that the largest share of applicants is Indian students. Our Universities are also reporting a high intake of students from India although China has topped the list. We want to rebuild the export education market,” he said.

Mr Wood said that Immigration New Zealand will be keen to facilitate eligible students from various parts of the world pursues their higher education here and will work closely with Education New Zealand and other relevant agencies.

“International students have the right to job access and many of them secure employment in the field of their study. There are good job opportunities for graduates in engineering, medicine and other professionals. Two or three years thereafter, they can apply for residency. There are therefore possibilities for international students to become permanent residents (and later citizens), although not immediately after graduation,” he said.

Incentives for foreign investors

New Zealand has introduced new incentives for foreign investors, discouraging wealthy people overseas to become permanent residents through passive investments through the purchase of properties and shares in companies.

Mr Wood said that the investor category has been redefined to attract experienced, high-value investors who will bring growth opportunities to New Zealand businesses.

The new Active Investor Plus Visa category, which became effective on September 19, 2022, replaced the two previous categories which were in vogue for more than 12 years facilitating passive investments.

The new Active Investor Plus Visa category replaced the earlier Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories. The eligibility criteria include a minimum $5 million investment if it is a direct investment. It also encourages greater economic benefit to New Zealand companies by capping passive investment in listed equities to 50% and excluding bonds and property.

The Active Investor Plus visa category will incentivise direct investment in New Zealand firms through a weighting system. Direct investments will receive a 3 x weighting per dollar invested. This system has a minimum investment threshold of $15 million or weighted equivalent. This means that applicants who want to make acceptable direct investments will be eligible for $5 million.

Bullying and Exploitation

As Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety, Mr Wood said that he was deeply concerned by the increasing number of bullying and exploitation incidents occurring at workplaces.

“People spend a lot of time at their places of work. They deserve to return home well, without being subject to bullying, harassment and stress. We hear of high rates of psychosocial harm, which can have long-term effects on people. As a part of our efforts to address this problem, we provided an additional $50 million in our Budget 2019 to build internal capacity to deal with bullying and other harm at workplaces. Bullying is rampant not only in the private sector but also in public-owned enterprises,” he said.

According to him, there is no proper legal definition of bullying and that more work is being undertaken by his Ministry to address the problem.

Mr Wood agreed that there was a need to protect employers also against a small number of unscrupulous employees.”

“It is important that there is a process that is fair to everyone. There is a need to protect small business owners who may feel threatened by employee issues becoming major issues. It is therefore advisable to have a fair system in place. They can seek professional support from organisations like the Auckland Business Chamber,” he said.

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