Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth

Guest post

In March 2016 Little was heavily criticised for pointing out that there were too many Chinese and Indian Chefs coming to NZ.
He was right in what he was saying, but he said it poorly.

Between 2006/07 and 2016/17 (financial year) Immigration NZ approved applications for 43,488 chefs, pastry chefs, fast food cooks and cooks. They declined 4,113 applications. Chefs and cooks are listed as one of the essential skills required in NZ.

What is unknown how many of the positions have been filled more than once in that time or how many of the applications are from the same person over several years and/or swapping between categories.

As seen in the graph the yearly figures have been steady with a high of 4712 in 2015/16.

Some facts behind these figures

76% applications had a work visa; the other 25% had a work permit.
56% applications came via the Essential Skill Visa
1178 of the applications are recorded region unknown.
36% were for jobs in the Auckland area.
27% were for jobs in the South Island.
73% had a job offer.
5,021 referred to jobs by WINZ.
12,611 cases made by the employer
811 were fast food cooks
The applications covered 99 nationalities
34,173 applications are male.

The biggest numbers came from

China 9,356
India 7,465
Thailand 4,378
South Korea 3,884
Japan 2,262
Brazil 1,980
Fiji 1,464
Great Britain 1,368

Now we must ask why do we need so many chefs?

Are we making it too easy for restaurant businesses to get staff? Instead of retaining and training staff they are just bringing in replacement staff from overseas. It is time restaurants, and other eatery places start taking more responsibility in looking after existing staff and recruiting from within NZ.

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