NZ?s geospatial industry urges skill shortage listing by Immigration
New Zealand’s Spatial Industries Business Association is urging Immigration New Zealand to ease up residency requirements for geospatial specialists.
The association is asking Immigration New Zealand to recognise expertise in geospatial information systems as a specific skill and that it be placed on the long-term skills shortage list. Industry heads are keen to make it easier for qualified professionals in the field to gain residency in the country.
Earlier this month, representatives from the NZ arm of the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) presented their argument to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s immigration officers. According to Eagle Technology’s Scott Campbell, acting as SIBA’s capability specialist, the association is still waiting for a response.
According to Campbell, the industry shortage of relevant skills affects Australia and the US as well as New Zealand, although the two countries have already recognised it by placing geospatial expertise on their skill-shortage lists. The cost-saving benefits of GIS are now being recognised in NZ, said Campbell, who believes it’s a matter of supply and demand.
He adds that the recession in the West has left staff qualified in the sector unable to find work, creating a labour pool which cannot be tapped due to INZ’s restrictive policies. SIBA recently commissioned a survey by Victoria University which provided hard figures to support his theory.
Unfortunately, he said, we cannot help supply the needed workers even although the demand is there as their skills are not on INZ’s list. General business, agriculture, the financial sector, commerce and the retail sector, he believes, are all in need of personnel with this skill.
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