New Zealand SME owners complain over immigration policy
Small business owners in New Zealand are up in arms over Immigration New Zealand’s immigration policies, saying the skills shortage is the fault of INZ’s policies.
According to report on stuff.co.nz, inconsistent visa processing, a lack of industry-specific training for immigration officers and a lack of integration between industry and government is causing staffing difficulties for SME owners. Those interviewed state that, while INZ’s policies aren’t totally preventing them from finding skilled workers from overseas, there’s room for a great deal of improvement.
One restaurant owner in Wellington is having problems finding and keeping suitable hospitality staff, especially restaurant managers. Having recently opened a new coffee wholesale business and a pizzeria, in addition to his three restaurants, he’s found that existing migrant managers are having problems renewing their visas.
The reasons given were that nationals on the Work and Income scheme could easily do the job. The regulations state that all efforts to source NZ nationals must be exhausted before overseas applicants are considered.
In one instance where an experienced fully qualified manager was refused a visa extension, the restaurant owner advertised the position for two weeks, interviewed 40 local applicants and found no-one suitable for the position. The restaurant owner finally succeeded in getting his manager her visa, but is sure more specialist knowledge of his industry is badly needed at the immigration department.
In the ITC field, Bennet Medary, chair of the New Zealand Information and Communications Technologies Group, also has strong opinions about the skill shortages, saying the problem is caused by execution, not policy. The government, he states, creates policies, but the results fall far short of the original ideas due to obstructions between reality, policy-making and its execution.
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