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Restrictions on Immigration Leading to Shortage of Aged Care Workers in New Zealand

December 2017, 04
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As per a recent report, the restrictions proposed by New Zealand on immigrants, compounded by an aging population, together can create a major labor crisis in the aged care sector.

Aged-care workers suffering because of immigration cuts

Only 15 percent New Zealanders are applying for the job and retirement villages greatly rely on immigrants. The report jointly made by St Andrew's Village and the Salvation Army makes a recommendation that aged care workers should be included in the skilled migrant category visa. This measure will ensure that there are sufficient workers for serving the growing population. Migrant labors have a record of overcoming the shortfalls in the aged care sector, of New Zealand's and in Auckland, 71 percent of nurses are foreign-born whereas 28 percent of assistants in healthcare work on temporary visas.

Changes in Law April mean that holder of temporary visas must reapply for a visa every year, and invariably leave the country for 12 months after completion of three years.

There is a great need for the government and industry to take urgent measures to look into this anticipated shortfall in aged care labor.

More citizens of New Zealand should enter the industry and the law on migrant workers should be fixed and made stable to attain residency. The new law makes it hard in recruiting and retaining the staff. By 2026, the anticipated increase would be 45 percent needing 14,000 to 18,000 workers in this sector.

Iain Lees-Galloway, the Immigration Minister will review the changes required in the visa rules for ensuring the filling of genuine skill shortages.

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