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New Zealand seeks out over 75,000 foreign workers to bridge labor shortage

Sydney, Australia, Dec 12 (EFE).- New Zealand authorities announced on Monday that they require over 75,000 international workers, ranging from nurses to teachers and mechanics, amid a labor shortage in the domestic and international markets.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a press conference that from June, the country has offered around 94,000 jobs to foreign workers, and subsequently around 17,000 international workers had already been granted visas to work in New Zealand.

“Global worker shortages are contributing to worker shortages here, as businesses look to hire more employees due to strong profits and the resilient economy,” she said.

“We need to attract skilled workers to our shores with our pay, with our conditions, and with certainty. So, in discussions with business and sector groups, we’re expanding on our plan to make New Zealand the most attractive place in the world to live,” the prime minister added.

Among other measures, Ardern announced that from Dec. 15, nurses and doctors were being added to the “green list” of employees who would be directly eligible for a New Zealand residency permit.

Immigration Minister Michael Wood said that New Zealand wants to use the robustness of its economy to attract qualified workers amid intense international competition.

He added that since the pandemic, thousands of nurses had arrived in the country, but more needed to be done to ensure that these medical professionals chose New Zealand.

From March 2023, other professions such as teachers, skilled mechanics, crane operators and even halal butchers would be included in the green list, which facilitates residency applications for the country.

For most of 2020 and 2021, New Zealand imposed strict entry restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has now been facing a shortage of workforce that the authorities want to mitigate with foreign workers.

New Zealand, which has a population of around 5.1 million, has an unemployment rate of around 3.3 percent according to official data. EFE


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