BusinessNZ welcomes the announcement that New Zealand will welcome back 2,000 international workers under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.
BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says the move is timely.
“Our exports industries have weathered the Covid storm well to date, but it would have been devastating to let fruit rot on the ground and cause economic damage to regions if access to workers was constrained by border restrictions.
“The relatively low unemployment rate is both a signal that New Zealand’s economic fundamentals are holding up well, and also a red flag that the prospect of skill shortages could create more hardship for companies than the impact of Covid and lockdowns.
“International workers make a significant contribution to the New Zealand workforce and ensure companies are able to continue to operate and keep New Zealanders in work. Companies are also taking up opportunities to attract and upskill New Zealand workers for these roles and in some cases local workers have the opportunity to upskill alongside RSE workers.
“We have a number of industries that need international skills and expertise to supplement the New Zealand workforce, and it is critical for the Government to work rapidly and constructively with industries to understand these workforce pressures and find the right solution, as horticulture, viticulture and the Government have done today.”