INDEPENDENT NEWS

Relax Work Permit Rules To Meet Skills Shortages

Published: Thu 19 Oct 2000 09:58 AM
Relax Work Permit Rules To Meet Skills Shortages Says Dunne
United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is suggesting the Government relax the rules for issuing work permits, as a way of overcoming skills shortages.
"New Zealand's present worries about our youngest and brightest leaving to go overseas mirrors an international trend being felt in many countries like Australia and Britain."
"In today's more mobile environment people are far more likely to travel and live overseas for long periods of time."
"Traditional responses will therefore not work any longer, which is why we need to take a new approach to the international movement of people."
"I am suggesting we therefore take a far more generous approach to the issue of work permits, both in terms of the numbers we allow, and also the conditions under which we allow them."
"Our present policy is too rigid and means we often miss out on gaining high quality skilled people."
"One thing we could do, for example, is allow people to come to New Zealand for a brief period as a visitor and then transfer to a work permit if they can get a job here."
"We could follow the British Government's recent lead of allowing people with skills in certain areas - for example information technology and the health sector - to enter the country to seek jobs in their particular areas and then gain their work permits," he says.
Mr Dunne says New Zealand needs to take a much more activist approach to immigration policy to ensure that we get the best and the brightest people we can to meet our needs.
"We are too passive and bureaucratic at present, which is why we often miss out."
"In an increasingly competitive global skills and population market that approach will no longer do," he says.
Ends

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