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Government Plan To Address Skills Shortage

Published July 06, 2018 (last updated June 30, 2023) - Ben Fairfax

Government Plan To Address Skills Shortage

The New Zealand Government has proposed changes that would fast-track the recruitment of skilled overseas workers to the building and construction sector.

The KiwiBuild Skills Shortage List was announced by Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway in June, streamlining the process for building and construction companies to recruit skills and labour they can’t find locally.

Shortage of 30,000 Workers

“It’s estimated we are some 30,000 workers short, particularly plumbers, electricians, engineers, builders and project managers so we need to make changes,” Minister Lees-Galloway said.

“Our proposed KiwiBuild Skills Shortage List means building and construction firms can go through a quicker process to get the skilled workers they need, when they can’t recruit locally.”
“We would also look to introduce a streamlined process so firms which have good employment practices and a commitment to employ local workers can be pre-approved to bring in workers from overseas.”

KiwiBuild Visa

“This is a broader, more comprehensive and quicker approach for the construction sector to get the skilled workers it needs than the ‘KiwiBuild Visa’ that was proposed last year. It’s clear we need workers to be available more quickly; these proposals aim to speed up the process and circumvent the need to create a new visa category.”

“I expect the KiwiBuild Skills Shortages List could be in place in around six months, subject to final decisions following consultation.”

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