Janet Wilson: Immigrants framed as a problem rather than a potential solution

1 week ago 20

The unemployment complaint   lifted somewhat  this week, but New Zealand’s attraction    of immigrants is making it hard  to code  our skills shortage

ELLA BATES-HERMANS/Stuff

The unemployment complaint lifted somewhat this week, but New Zealand’s attraction of immigrants is making it hard to code our skills shortage

Janet Wilson is simply a freelance writer formerly moving successful PR, including a stint with the National Party. She contributes a file weekly.

OPINION: It’s a motion of these troubled economical times, that slightly worse than expected unemployment figures retired this week were greeted with a corporate enarthrosis shrug, alternatively than a dollop of despair.

Economists wide expected Stats NZ’s Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) to amusement a further driblet successful the unemployment rate.

Given that it was already the lowest successful the March and December quarters since the 1970s, astatine 3.2%, slope economists’ projections of a further autumn to betwixt 2.8% and 3.1% seemed fanciful.

To beryllium fair, each warned that forecasting was ‘tricky’ close now. And truthful it proved erstwhile the existent HLFS fig came successful astatine 3.3%.

READ MORE:
* New Zealand is afloat reopening to the world, but however prepared are we?
* Government announces caller capitalist migrant visa
* Letting migrant workers accidental I discontinue could chopped hazard of exploitation
* BusinessNZ disappointed implicit Government stance connected migrant labour

But the different broadside of the unemployment equation – the labour marketplace – was a lawsuit of there’s-good-news-and-there’s-bad-news. Good, due to the fact that salaries and wages, measured done Stats NZ’s labour outgo index, roseate 3.4% successful the twelvemonth to the extremity of June, up from 3% successful the twelvemonth to the extremity of March. Average ordinary-time hourly earnings, arsenic measured Stats NZ’s quarterly employment survey, roseate astatine an yearly complaint of 6.4% successful the June quarter. When it came to the backstage sector, yearly wage ostentation was up to 5.2% successful the June quarter.

That means much wealth successful much pockets, and that’s a bully thing, right?

Well, not erstwhile the summation successful salaries and wages is inactive beneath the country’s yearly 7.3% ostentation complaint and the 7.4% wide outgo of surviving increase. What’s more, the stretched labour marketplace is driving ostentation and threatens to entrench it, which is atrocious quality for Governor Adrian Orr and the Reserve Bank.

This is astir apt the champion clip successful a procreation to beryllium applying for a occupation arsenic bosses combat against each different to connection much and much tantalising wealth and conditions to workers crossed the board.

STUFF

The migration curate announces caller 'Green List', which intends to simplify migrants' applications and pathways to residence.

But it’s atrocious quality if you’re an employer. A caller NZIER concern assurance survey reported a grounds 67% of businesses had trouble getting unskilled staff, with a larger stock struggling to get skilled staff.

It besides means that Orr volition person to support squeezing the system with higher involvement rates to support warring those inflationary fires.

Despite rising wages, there’s different origin shrinking moving numbers: the grass-is-always-greener allure of beingness successful different country. Almost 11,000 much radical near the state successful the twelvemonth ended May than arrived.

Government figures estimation that 50,000 New Zealanders could permission implicit the adjacent year, putting adjacent much unit connected the occupation market. And with New Zealand’s borders present afloat open, it’s tempting to leap to the decision that migrant workers tin capable those gaps.

Think again.

The Government’s reply to this confluence of events – to misquote Mr Zuckerberg – is to enactment dilatory and interruption things. Since May the 2 migration ministers, Kris Faafoi and Michael Wood, person been outlining their reply to the skills shortage, what they’ve termed an immigration ‘‘rebalance strategy’’ to capable occupation shortages.

A strategy based connected Faafoi opining, erstwhile holding the portfolio, that the state needs to “stop relying” connected workers filling low-paid jobs and absorption connected lone highly skilled and affluent ones.

Its caller visa categories look destined to support migrants out, alternatively than invited them in.

From the ‘Active Investor Plus’ category which removes foreigners’ quality to bargain bonds and spot arsenic portion of a qualifying investment, and restricts concern companies approved by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. To the Accredited Employer Work Visa, which has employers jumping done bureaucratic hoops to beryllium they request the workers and paying up to $1980 for the privilege.

This week it was reported a operation labour hiring institution had laid a ailment aft an mistake connected Immigration NZ’s website prevented it applying for a occupation cheque for immoderate Filipino carpenters it planned to prosecute for 3 weeks. Half of the workers took jobs successful Canada instead.

 “At the bosom  of the Government’s migration  reset lies a quiescent  xenophobia that has framed migrants arsenic  a ‘problem’ and not the solution   they could be.”

John Cowpland/Stuff

Janet Wilson: “At the bosom of the Government’s migration reset lies a quiescent xenophobia that has framed migrants arsenic a ‘problem’ and not the solution they could be.”

Exacerbating the plight of Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) migrants who bash travel into the state is the Government’s determination that from December migrant partners won’t person enactment rights but volition request to use separately nether the AEWV scheme. While raising the anticipation that migrant partners volition enactment nether the table, making them susceptible to exploitation, the connection is clear: we privation migrants but not their families.

Because arsenic Opposition parties person each pointed out, contention for immigrants is worldwide, not conscionable confined to Aotearoa. As ACT person David Seymour was quoted arsenic saying this week, “It is nuts to marque each concern show that it needs workers erstwhile we cognize the full system is facing a labour crisis.”

Unless you’re Labour and person drunk the migration Kool-Aid that believes rising migration numbers person led to each our woes, from soaring location prices to little wages to infrastructure pressures. Well, the migrant pat has been turned disconnected for the past 2½ years and those problems person failed to spell away.

At the bosom of the Government’s migration reset lies a quiescent xenophobia that has framed migrants arsenic a ‘problem’ and not the solution they could be.

It besides tells the satellite that, alternatively than being unfastened for business, we’re inactive an land fortress astatine the bottommost of the South Pacific.

Read Entire Article