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One of the themes of the Knowledge Workers web site over the past year has been the need to recognise and understand the role of skills in a modern economy. Despite the current recession, many skills are still in short supply. And this is acting as a break on the smart innovative companies that can drag New Zealand, or that matter any other country, out of the current economic mess.

New Zealand’s Productive Economy Council has weighed in to the debate making an interesting plea to the government over skilled migrant workers. In a press release the Council said; “

The government needs to think carefully before deciding to limit temporary work visas for skilled migrants or interfere in any way with the retention decisions of companies.

Cutting back on the number of skilled workers entering New Zealand would be a sure-fire way of making the recession last longer and bite deeper. That’s not an opinion, it’s a simple statement of fact.

There are roles in industry and elsewhere that create real wealth and add real value. These are skilled positions. The people doing those jobs earn money which circulates elsewhere in the economy and pays taxes. Restricting the pool of available skilled workers to perform those tasks is a way of hobbling our industries.

All migrants create work and wealth. People who bring much-needed skills to New Zealand create even more work and wealth.

The Productive Economy Council’s Selwyn Pellett says:

The High Tech sector has only been able to survive in New Zealand thanks to skilled migrants and without them we would progressively lose over $2 billion in exports generated from that sector alone, and I suspect these figures apply in other elaborately transformed export sectors.

Scoop: NZ business needs to protect its core skills

4 thoughts on “New Zealand must protect core skills

  1. […] Update: Eric Crampton has written about the issue, looking at data to work out the attitude of NZer’s – it is an excellent post, I suggest you read it right now. Brad Taylor comes out as well. Paul Walker discusses here.  Nigel Kearney represented his frustration before all of us here.  Bill Bennett discusses here. […]

  2. You know, I’m pretty sure what we need to do is develop the skills ourselves rather than depending upon immigration. Sure, import skilled immigrants but use them to then develop our our skill development.

    • I agree we need to develop skills here. In an ideal world our government should prioritise, even subsidise, training in those areas where we have to look overseas for talent.

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