New Zealand will be better off as a result of more seasonal workers coming in to contribute to the key horticulture and viticulture industries over the next couple of years, says Business Central, which provides professional services and business support for members throughout the central region.
“The Government’s decision to increase the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme cap by 3150 will assist primary producing industries that contribute to our economy and earn export earnings,” says Business Central chief executive John Milford.
Employers, he says, have been warning that a lack of available local workers has hampered production and resulted in lost opportunities.
“Crops have been left unharvested simply because there is no one to pick them.
“Requirements for suitable accommodation for overseas workers make for a more welcoming environment and many good employers have been doing this successfully for years.
“We continue to request the Government review the hoops it expects employers to jump through to prove there is a lack of local workers. Shortages are a long-standing concern and the Government should be doing more to encourage available labour into the workforce.
“While this increase is a start, we want to see further timely increases to seasonal workers.”