Employers will now have to make lower-skilled employment opportunities available to New Zealanders before supporting a work visa to fill the vacancy, says Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.
Changes came into force this week which mean that employers considering hiring a migrant for a lower-skilled role will now be required to engage with Work and Income at the beginning of the process to ensure there is no New Zealander available to do the job first.
“The Government is committed to getting more New Zealanders into work by ensuring they are first in line for jobs,” Mrs Tolley says.
“We know employers want people with the right attitude, who are resilient and have good people skills, and we want to provide employers with the best candidates.”
“Work and Income will be working closely with employers of low and unskilled vacancies who are looking to hire migrant workers. If Work and Income can’t fill the vacancy, a Skills Match Report will provide employers and Immigration New Zealand with consistent information about the skills required for the job.”
Mr Woodhouse says engaging with Work and Income first ensures employers are connected directly to New Zealanders who are available to do the work and provides greater clarity for employers as to the likely outcome of a visa application before it is made.
“This process is a far more efficient way to ensure employers are satisfactorily testing the New Zealand labour market rather than routinely seeking to employ migrants,” Mr Woodhouse says.
For more information on the changes, visit