Skills changes welcome

The Government has relaxed the rules for building-related occupations to help with its house-building programme. Photo: ODT files
The Government has relaxed the rules for building-related occupations to help with its house-building programme. Photo: ODT files
Government moves to add building occupations to the skill shortage list have been welcomed by Otago-Southland Employers Association chief executive Virginia Nicholls.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said yesterday adding seven building-related occupations to the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) would make it easier for employers to get the people they required, including migrants, to deliver homes the country needs.

The Government would build 100,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years and the construction industry needed skilled workers to achieve that target, he said.

''The Government will always ensure that where a genuine skill gap exists, our immigration system will support employers to get the people they need.''

Mrs Nicholls told the Otago Daily Times the news would be welcomed by the construction industry.

Employers were finding it challenging to get skilled staff. Forward orders were encouraging and there would be a need to employ more tradespeople.

''Businesses in our region will be keen to hear more from the Government on how they can get involved with the 100,000 affordable homes across the country over 10 years - including the immediate requirements and the long-term plan for our region.''

Otago-Southland had skill shortages and was welcoming international and domestic migrants, she said.

It was reassuring to know businesses facing skills shortages, including carpenters, joiners, fibrous plasterers and roof plumbers, would be able to access those skilled people from overseas if New Zealand workers were not available.

Coupled with the Government's decision to increase construction skills training, the news was welcome, Mrs Nicholls said.

It would be helpful to have more careers advice provided in schools around the trades, to line up with the fees-free initiative.

There was an opportunity now to find out why some apprentices left their profession once they finished their apprenticeship.

Some travelled overseas when they finished their apprenticeship and did not always return to their trade, she said.

''A key issue remains to access people to also fill unskilled labour shortages.''

There also needed to be measures to address the skills, motivation and drug issues in the domestic labour market, Mrs Nicholls said.

Mr Lees-Galloway said employers whose occupations were on the ISSL and the Long-Term Skill Shortage List did not need to go through the labour market process and did not need to prove they could not find a New Zealander for the job.

A total of 34 occupations had been reviewed this year. In addition to the seven building-related occupations, three motor industry-related professions were being added to the ISSL, as well as midwives and accountants.

Five occupations were being removed from the ISSL and five from the tong-term list as the result of extensive consultation, he said.

The next review would start in April next year.



Greats news It may also be a good idea to add more of these types of skills in training .and forget the fairyland university learning that is on offer.

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