New Zealand makes changes to skills lists

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New Zealand’s Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) regularly reviews the country’s skills list to meet the changing needs of the job market. On Wednesday, 8 May, the MBIE announced the completion of the 2018/2019 review together with the changes that’ll be made to the skills lists.

The MBIE has decided to rename one skills list and will be adding certain occupations to the skills lists. These changes will all come into effect on Monday, 27 May. Below we discuss the changes.

The Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL) replaces the Immediate Skill Shortage List

The MBIE has renamed the Immediate Skill Shortage List to now be the Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL). While the occupations on the list stays virtually the same, the number of regions have been increased from 6 to 15.

According to Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, ‘these changes were the first step in the Government’s plan to streamline and regionalise the skills-based visa system.’ In particular, Immigration New Zealand wants to encourage ‘the regional dispersion of immigrants to places other than Auckland and the main centres’.

Teachers and aged care registered nurses added to skills lists

The New Zealand Aged Care Association has applauded Immigration New Zealand’s decision to add aged care registered nurses to the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL). The Association believes that this is positive step towards addressing chronic nursing shortages.

It’s not just registered nurses that are needed in New Zealand. There is also a teacher shortage. So much so, in fact, that Immigration New Zealand launched an intensive recruitment drive at the end of last year. The goal was to attract 400 teachers from overseas for the 2019 school year.

Considering the above, it is not surprising that MBIE has added Early Childhood Teacher, Primary School Teacher, and Secondary School Teacher for all regions to the new Regional Skill Shortage List.

Other occupation changes to skills lists were:

  • Extending the ‘Construction Project Manager Roading and Infrastructure’ listing on the LTSSL to include ‘Construction Project Manager’.
  • Amendments to the Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL):
    • Adding Building Associate.
    • Extending Plumber (General) to all regions.
    • Removing Stonemason for the Canterbury regions. The occupation will remain for Auckland and Northland.

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