Essential Skills visa changes: recruiting for roles

Oversupply list to be removed

The job seeker oversupply list has been removed by Ministry of Social Development (MSD), effective from 1st October 2021. The undersupply list will also be removed later this year. This has come as very welcomed news by employers and the immigration industry.

As some background, the over and under supply lists were introduced to streamline MSD’s advice to Immigration New Zealand on the availability of job seekers. This formed part of the assessment of the labour market test (LMT) for jobs paying below the median wage for Essential Skills Work Visa applications.

Why were these lists implemented?

These temporary lists essentially determined, amongst other criteria, the ability to obtain or renew a work visa and most importantly the duration granted for that visa.
The accuracy of the oversupply list however drew heavy scrutiny from many industries, particularly hospitality where the lists didn’t reflect reality of who was applying for jobs. Covid exposed how reliant the economy had been on migrant labour. Migrant labour supply constraints adversely affected businesses and their ability to maintain or expand operations. These measures also created extreme uncertainty for many migrant staff on their future prospects in NZ.

Recruiting for roles

With this change, Employers now looking to hire or retain migrant staff can revert back to the pre-October 2020 process of recruitment. Employers will still need to prove they can’t find a suitable NZ citizen or resident for the role however the process for doing so isn’t matched against pre-defined oversupply or undersupply lists. When INZ are assessing Essential Skills work visa applications for roles paying below the median wage, advice from MSD on the availability of New Zealanders will be taken into consideration. For jobs that were on the oversupply list, MSD will now provide Skills Match Reports (SMRs), as provided for other occupations.

Contact a New Zealand Shores licensed immigration adviser today to discuss any roles you need to fill and how to meet Immigration NZ requirements.