Skilled Workers Still Needed in New Zealand

February 12, 2007

Despite New Zealand attracting the migrants it needs and Immigration Minister, David Cunliffe, has said that immigraiton has a even greater role to play as the country tries to attract the skills and talent needed for economic growth.

According to the latest annual Migration Trends report (2005/2006), some 52,000 people were approved for permanent residency during this period, the highest number since 2001/2002. More than 60% came in the skilled or business categories. This is a reflection of New Zealand employers' continued need for overseas staff in an environment of low unemployment and shortages of Kiwi workers.

Three-quarters of the principle skilled migrant applicants approved in 2005/2006 had a skilled New Zealand job offer, and 31% had qualifications in an area of absolute skills shortage.

The United Kingdom was the largest source of skilled migrant approvals, accounting for 41% of approvals overall - up 10% on the previous year.

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