New Zealand Sees Number of New Skilled Immigrants Rise
New Zealand’s Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has welcome new figures showing an increasing number of skilled migrants as a sign of the country’s strong economic outlook.
The 14th annual Migration Trends and Outlook report shows that the number of Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) residence approvals increased by 12% in the 2013/2014 financial year after showing decreases for the previous four years.
new-zealandMore than 20,000 people were approved residence under the SMC last year and there was also an 18% increase in the number of Essential Skills workers, the second consecutive increase since the start of the global financial crisis.
‘These figures clearly show that New Zealand is a favoured destination for skilled migrants and that the government’s policies are attracting the right people. They also suggest that New Zealand’s economic outlook is strong with the Canterbury rebuild bolstering the underlying recovery,’ said Woodhouse.
‘It is also encouraging to see a 15% increase in the number of international students approved to study in New Zealand. This is a big boost for the international education industry. In 2014, international education contributed $2.85 billion to the New Zealand economy,’ he pointed out.
‘It is our fifth largest export industry and supports more than 30,000 jobs. International students help to build our country’s links with our trading partners and they enrich the communities in which they live and study,’ added Woodhouse.
Meanwhile, the most up to date Migration Trends Key Indicators report shows that the increase in skilled migrants and international students is continuing with the number of SMC approvals between July and December last year up 6% from the same period in 2013.
The data also shows that there was a 9% rise in the number of Essential Skills workers approved. The number of international students approved to study was up 22%.
‘New Zealand is in an extremely competitive international market and these two reports show that more people are choosing to come here and take advantage of the country’s booming economy and everything we have to offer,’ added Woodhouse.