Moves by the Minister of Immigration to attract more skilled migrants to New Zealand will be of benefit in the long term, says David Newick of Auckland-based recruitment company IT Futures.
A new immigration programme will streamline the number of categories under which migrants can be granted residence and place more emphasis on skilled and business migrant. The programme also increases the number of residence approvals each year to 45,000. Of that number 60% of approvals will be in the skilled/business category.
Newick says that from a long-term perspective he applauds the move. “It makes a lot of sense and good on them for taking those steps."
In the short term, however, a soft economy - coupled with an increase in the number of Kiwi IT workers coming home from the US and Europe and employers in New Zealand being more cautious in their hiring - is seeing a "flattening" of the market.
Newick says the economic problems in Britain and Australia mean there are more people coming home to look for work, something Hugh Lloyd from Recruitment Solutions has also seen, particularly since the terrorist attacks in the US.
"We're not talking thousands of people here, but we're getting a lot of interest from Kiwis wanting to come home."
Lloyd says these aren't just people finishing their overseas experience either. "We've had a couple of enquiries from quite senior people - general managers and directors. Twelve months ago we wouldn't have got that."
He says the people with hard-to-find skills have always been easy to place and immigration has always helped with that - he doesn't expect there to be too much change.
"Companies are being more selective these days with the economy being so soft and there probably are more people applying for each job so the employer has a choice which they sometimes didn't in the past."