New Zealand First is raising questions over how 49 Essential Skills visas were issued in 2012 for checkout operators, when there are 146,000 unemployed New Zealanders who are looking for work.
In answer to written questions from Rt Hon Winston Peters, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse advised that “49 visas were issued under Essential Skills, Graduate Job Search, and Graduate Work Experience categories.”
The Minister also confirmed that checkout operators are not included on any of the Essential Skills in Demand Lists.
“This then begs the question of why Immigration New Zealand is issuing Essential Skills visas for jobs that are not on the Essential Skills in Demand Lists.
“What is the point of having a list of Essential Skills needed in New Zealand if Immigration New Zealand is going to ignore it?
“We are not disputing that we need to have skilled immigrants coming to New Zealand to fill gaps in our labour market, but suggesting that a checkout operator is an essential skill which New Zealanders cannot fill is a leap to lunacy”, says Mr Peters.
Rt Hon Winston Peters
May 30′ 2013