The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE’s) Annual Migration Trends and Outlook report has revealed that India has overtaken the UK as the greatest source country of skilled migrants to New Zealand. The increase is due to former Indian international students acquiring temporary work visas and then becoming permanent residents, according to a ministry press release.
The last financial year registered a net migration loss of 3,200 – the first such loss since 2000/01, but the ministry reports that this trend is reversing and researchers expect to see positive net migration in 2014.
In addition, numbers are expected to increase due to the rebuild in Christchurch. “Demand for New Zealanders will be high, and training is under way to get young people in particular into jobs in Canterbury, but nonetheless we are likely to need more migrants if those skills cannot be readily met from within New Zealand,” ministry researcher Sankar Ramasamy said.
The news highlights the need for New Zealand workplaces to improve ethnic diversity management. While a quarter of the country’s workforce are migrants, many people from different ethnic groups who come to New Zealand do not feel encouraged or supported by the attitudes they often encounter in the workplace, Ethnic Affairs minister Judith Collins said. “And, on the other hand, many business people are not sure of what to do to access the potential of the resource they see in ethnic communities.”
An agreement struck last year between the Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA) and the New Zealand Institute of Management aims to address the problem by bringing ethnic communities and mainstream business together to build an improved business framework for the country.
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