The government of New Zealand has plans to create shortage lists for regional skills so that migrants can find it easier in the country to apply for these job vacancies in regional areas and be hired. Ian Lees-Galloway, who is New Zealand’s immigration minister, made the announcement on Tuesday saying that the government plans to replace the current essential skills in demand lists with the regional skills shortage lists. This new system will represent effectively, the rate of skill shortages in various regions. This way, temporary migrants will be informed of regional job opportunities. There is a proposal too, for there to be incentives and business support for businesses to create more jobs and hire New Zealanders. The minister made these announcements in Ashburton, where a report was published not long ago, revealing 500 unified jobs which had a heavy weight on the economy of the area. Mid-Canterbury also has always relied on immigrants to take up job vacancies. But then, the population growth in the area has grown more than the demand for workers in the area. The general manager of Wilson Bulk Transport, Jonathan Ward, was there at the immigration minister's announcement. He has his concerns on the proposal and intends to make his submissions on it. Ward said that the trucking companies he knew all needed drivers and that these vacancies were affecting businesses in Auckland, but it was worse in the regions. The problem increased by the day as there are no citizens of New Zealand available to take up these jobs. Ward's trucking company has 30 drivers out of which 5 were migrants. The problem was that it took a lot of time before one could get workers from abroad. According to him, if any of his workers quit, he would wait for up to 4 months to get a migrant in to fill the vacancy. He complained that the visa system was too complicated and did not sufficiently address the labour needs of the various regions and sectors.
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