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Essential Skills in Demand List Review

Posted on March  25 , 2014
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has completed its annual review of two of the Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) Lists – the Long Term Skill Shortage List and the Immediate Skill Shortage List. These changes take effect from 24 March 2014.

Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)

The LTSSL identifies occupations that have an absolute (sustained and ongoing) shortage of skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand. Migrants who gain employment in one of these occupations may be granted a work visa under the LTSSL Work to Residence or Essential Skills instructions. Migrants applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category may gain bonus points towards their application if they have an offer of employment, work experience or qualifications in an area of absolute skill shortage identified on the LTSSL.

 The occupations which have been removed from the LTSSL are:

  • Audiologist
  • Dietitian
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Industrial Pharmacist
  • Internal Auditor
  • Medical Diagnostic Radiographer
  • Midwife
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Osteopath
  • Retail Pharmacist
  • Conductive Education Practitioner
  • Specialist Manager not elsewhere classified
  • Speech Language Therapist
  • Urban and Regional Planner

Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL)

The ISSL identifies occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers either throughout New Zealand or in certain regions. Migrants wishing to work in occupations on the ISSL may be granted work visas under Essential Skills instructions if they meet the specified qualifications and/or experience requirements.
One occupation has been added to the ISSL:

  • Registered Nurse (Mental Health)

The occupations which have been removed from the ISSL are:

  • Café and Restaurant Manager
  • Dispensing Optician
  • Internal Auditor
  • Motor Mechanic (General) (Automotive Technician)
  • Truck Driver (General)

Other Changes

There are also a number of changes to the qualifications and experience that a migrant needs to satisfy in using the lists. The changes include removal of some obsolete qualifications, addition of new qualifications and clarification of the requirements. Where registration is required for an occupation in New Zealand, the type of registration and name of the registration body are specified. For some occupations the requirements for using the lists now rely on registration (rather than both registration and a relevant qualification). There are also a few changes to the names, codes and experience requirements for occupations to align with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations.

Other Immigration Options

Removal from a skill shortage list does not mean that migrants cannot come to New Zealand. There are other immigration options that may be appropriate where an employer cannot find suitable New Zealanders for a position. These include:

  • Essential Skills work visa policy (subject to an employer demonstrating that they have tried to recruit New Zealanders for the position and been unsuccessful)
  • Accredited Employer – facilitating recruitment of skilled workers from overseas where the salary is at least NZ$55,000 per annum. This option provides a pathway to residence.
  • Approval in Principle – where a number of migrants are being sought
  • Skilled Migrant Category – under which migrants can apply for residence in New Zealand.

In addition the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub can facilitate employment of New Zealanders in Canterbury, and if there are no suitable applicants, can facilitate visa applications for migrant workers. Also, the Canterbury Skill Shortage List contains some occupations in shortage for the Canterbury rebuild (in addition those on the ISSL and LTSSL).

Other Information

The Essential Skills in Demand Lists are reviewed and updated regularly in order to ensure that the Ministry’s policy is flexible and responsive to changing economic and labour market conditions.  As part of reviews, information is gathered from submissions made by external stakeholders and this is considered alongside economic, labour market and immigration data.  It is important that the lists reflect genuine skill shortages so New Zealanders are not disadvantaged in seeking employment and training.

We expect the next review to commence in April 2014.

Source : New Zealand Immigration website