Motor Trade Says Skilled Migrant Workers Deserve Fair Deal

The Motor Trade Association (MTA) has expressed concerns that skilled migrants who are making a real contribution are not getting a fair deal on work permit extension.

MTA spokesman, Andy Cuming, said that those migrants who in the past had responded to New Zealand’s call for skilled workers, who have retained their jobs, and continued to enjoy the support of their employers in ongoing employment, should be granted an extension of their existing work permits.

“Certain sectors have only just recently been re-assigned as no longer having skill shortages, and one of these is in the area of automotive technology,” said Andy Cuming.

“We have enjoyed the contribution that a number of skilled migrants have made to our industry and our economy.

“There are cases now where permits are not being extended, and hard working contributors are being advised they are no longer required in our country, despite their employers wanting to retain their services.”

Andy Cuming said that changing the rules for these workers was not a fair deal for them or their employers.

“Both have made a commitment to the continued viability of our businesses, and have enabled those businesses to continue to offer employment to New Zealanders in the broader sense.

“Our industry’s call is for these workers to be allowed to now continue their contribution.”

Andy Cuming said that it has been reported that the British media have already picked up on  this issue that had arisen as an unnecessary and unwelcome consequence of reclassifying skilled shortage areas.

“This does our country’s reputation no favours, and works against New Zealand being considered a good destination for future skilled migration as the need arises again when the economy rebounds,” he said.

The Motor Trade Association is the largest trade association in the automotive sector, and its member businesses employ more than 40,000 workers throughout New Zealand.