Details of Sector Agreements for specific AEWV occupations and how these new Visa Settings help employers with workforce shortages
The Government has announced details of the sector agreements for several industries:
The care workforce
Construction and infrastructure
Seasonal snow and adventure tourism.
These changes will come into effect from October 2022. The sector agreements were signalled in the Government’s Immigration Rebalance announcement. They will allow limited exceptions to the median wage requirements for hiring migrants on an Accredited Employer Work Visa in specific occupations.
The settings include pay rates, timeframes and relevant roles. They were developed in consultation with key sector bodies, unions and government agencies. They have been tailored to the specific workforce needs and conditions. See the sector agreements factsheet below for the full details of these settings.
Each agreement includes expectations for improvement, including the implementation of Workforce Transition Plans and Industry Transformation Plans for sectors with these. Performance against these will be monitored and feed into reviews and decisions about future access to migrants below the median wage.
The Minister of Immigration will write to sector bodies and unions specifying these expectations. Lower thresholds already in place for a number of care and construction roles will continue until the sector agreements come into force from 31 October 2022.
Visa settings help employers with workforce shortages
These Sector Agreement settings and the previously announced Working Holiday Scheme changes will help employers fill skills gaps. Sector agreements allow limited exceptions to the median wage requirements for hiring skilled migrant workers on an Accredited Employer Work Visa in specific occupations. In addition to the sector agreements, employers can continue to hire migrants with open work visas, such as students, working holiday makers and partners with open work visas.
The Government wants to see New Zealand move to a higher-productivity, higher- wage economy, however, there is a clear need for these sectors to be able to recruit migrants below the median wage. These agreements give these sectors time to improve the attraction and retention of domestic workers, put significant effort into retaining, training, and upskilling New Zealanders, and invest in technology and new business models where appropriate.
New sector agreement settings, including pay rates, timeframes and roles, were developed following consultation with sector representatives and government agencies. They will be introduced on 31 October 2022.
Until 31 October 2022, employers can continue to use existing rules to recruit migrants. Operational details of sector agreements will be released when finalised.