After Spain and Portugal, another country has brought in changes to its immigration law to boost worker intake amid a shortfall. New Zealand, which is undergoing a worker shortfall, is making temporary changes to its immigration rules. It aims to lure 12,000 workers over the next year. It is also looking at a working holiday scheme to fill in the labour gaps.
New Zealand is facing a crunch of workers, leaving businesses in a lurch to find employees, as well as pushing wages up. This is also proving to be difficult to fight inflation as the central bank increased its interest rates to the highest since September 2015.
Immigration Minister Michael Wood said that changes to the immigration law is about providing “immediate relief to those businesses hardest hit by the global worker shortage”, and the holiday scheme will double the intake of workers.
New Zealand will offer a relaxation of wage rules for skilled migrants in sectors such as construction and infrastructure, meat processing, seafood, adventure tourism, and care of the elderly.
Wood said that visas of some onshore working holiday-makers will be extended by six months to retain workers in the country. The minister, referring to the global trend said, “New Zealand is not alone in this.”
The country’s jobless rate stood at 3.3 per cent in the second quarter, while wages went up 3.4 per cent on the year – the fastest in 14 years.
Meanwhile, Portugal too tweaked its immigration laws to fight labour shortage in multiple sectors. The new law provides for a 120-day temporary visa, which can be extended to 60 days for foreigners who seek to work in Portugal, as well as provisions for digital nomads. It also modified its law for the recognition of foreign driving licences.
Spain too has eased its work permits as well for foreigners by issuing new measures like reducing work permit application requirements.
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