Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.
“The overwhelming majority of the record number of work visas issued last year were for jobs that kiwis can do.
“The fact is that under National, immigration is being used to suppress wages. That’s an appalling abuse of the immigration system and puts new migrants at risk of exploitation by employers who only want to them for their cheap labour.
“In the past few days, Westpac Bank and Capital Economics have added their voices to the chorus of reputable organisations identifying immigration as a driver of wage stagnation in New Zealand.
“With 270,000 people unemployed in New Zealand, National needs to stop issuing work visas for jobs that kiwis can do and focus the immigration system on welcoming people with the skills we need to grow our economy,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.