BusinessNZ has welcomed changes to immigration settings announced today.
More occupations have been added to the skill level exception test and criteria for Essential Skills work visas have been changed.
BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope welcomed the plan for phasing in remuneration tests as criteria for entry, reducing reliance on ANZSCO, “an outdated occupational classification system which is not fit for purpose in a modern, changing labour market”.
But he said Immigration NZ needed to urgently provide clarity to companies on bringing in critical workers.
“Right now we need a range of high-skilled workers to support the economic recovery efforts. They are needed for company operations that will save and create jobs, e.g. specialist engineers for commissioning and installing new plant and equipment,” Hope said.
“Immigration NZ needs to be able to approve the entry of highly-specialised skills that cannot be found in New Zealand. There is no cost to the taxpayer for allowing these specialist workers in, and the businesses applying for the critical worker exemptions will need to put up an economic case for exemption.
“From the cases we have heard of, there are hundreds of jobs on the line if Immigration NZ is not able to approve entry for such critical skills.”