Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.
“A comparison of the Household Labour Force Survey and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment immigration statistics shows the Government approved work visas for 6,500 labourers despite there being 15,600 unemployed labourers here in New Zealand.
“A further 2,700 work visas were issued for sales workers even though there are already 23,000 unemployed sales workers.
“There are 14,500 unemployed clerical and administrative workers, yet 2,400 work visas were issued for those jobs last year.
“It’s not credible to say there aren’t the workers in New Zealand for these jobs – there are literally tens of thousands of Kiwis looking for them.
“The Government needs to help unemployed New Zealanders connect with employers who have jobs to fill, rather than looking offshore.
“Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse needs to assure the public that it is not allowing some businesses to avoid paying the real market wage for workers by abusing the immigration system.
“This means lower wages and fewer jobs for Kiwis, and exploitation of immigrants. The Government must urgently review its immigration policy.
“Labour supports immigration that helps to grow our economy and enrich our culture,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.